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Financial Market Supervisory Authority Of The Republic Of Azerbaijan

Protection of consumers and investors

According to paragraph 3.2.6 of the Charter of the  Financial Market Supervisory Authority, approved by the Decree No 828 of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated March 10, 2016, one of the important tasks of FIMSA is to protect rights of consumers and investors in the financial markets. In view of this, FIMSA carries out the following rights and responsibilities in the area of consumers and investors protection:

- Requests and analyzes information and documents from supervised organizations and issuers to protect rights of investors and consumers and carry out redress actions;

- Applies administrative measures against violating persons;

- Carries out relevant measures to improve corporate governance at joint stock companies;

- Receives and analyzes reports from issuers and takes appropriate measures as prescribed in legislation;

- Reviews letters and complaints from investors and participants of financial markets, analyzes them and takes appropriate measures following investigation as prescribed in legislation;

- Takes appropriate measures for investor and consumer education;

- Participates in court hearings related to investors and consumers rights violations in financial markets;

- Issues compulsory and binding instructions to prevent violations of rights and consumers in the financial markets, and to restore violated rights.

How FIMSA protects rights of consumers and investors in the financial markets?

One of the main responsibilities of FIMSA is to protect rights of consumers and investors in the financial markets and ensure appropriate redress mechanisms. To this end FIMSA carries out investigations based on inquiries from legal entities, individuals and officials on consumer and investor rights violations and ensures legal redress. FIMSA investigates inquiries from these persons relating to securities market, investment funds, insurance and credit organizations (banks, non-bank credit organizations, and national postal operator) and corporate governance at joint-stock companies.

Inquiries are investigated by Consumers and Investors Protection division of the Legal and compliance Department of FIMSA. For the purpose of its investigation, FIMSA requests necessary documents and information from concerned organizations.

If investigation by FIMSA finds consumer or investor rights violation, FIMSA will apply the following measures against the violating financial agent:

- Issue binding instruction;

- Issue administrative reproach (warning or penalty).

In addition, FIMSA works in the area of consumer and investor literacy and education. FIMSa meets regularly with citizens and explains them their rights and responsibilities, in addition to listening to their concerns.

If investigating consumer and investor inquiries reveals any gaps or discrepancies in the existing laws and regulations, FIMSA develops proposals for making relevant amendments to legislation.

Which issues are not regulated by FIMSA?

The following issues related to financial sector are not part of the FIMSA’s competence:

- Issues related to leasing companies;

- Issues related to pawn-shops (with exception of money laundering issues which are dealt with by FIMSA);

- Monetary of currency policy issues (with exception of compliance with exchange rate caps determined by the Central Bank of Azerbaijan applicable to banks and national postal operator in money exchange transactions, which is overseen by FIMSA);

- Issues related to cash turnover, as well as issue and withdrawal of bank notes;

- Issues related to setting official exchange rate of Manat.

What kind of recommendations FIMSA does not provide:

FIMSA does not provide information or recommendations to consumers and investors on the following:

- Which banks are more reliable to deposit money;

- Which banks offer most attractive conditions (such as low interest rates) for loans;

- Which banks pay higher rates on deposits;

- Investment counselling on trading with securities and derivatives;

- Advice on which insurance companies offer the most competitive premiums for voluntary insurance types;

- Advice on which insurance companies offer most competitive conditions for insurance police.

Which information FIMSA does not disclose:

- Information about the bank deposits of individuals (heirs may obtain bank account information of a deceased person through inquiry of the notary public who initiated the inheritance case);

- Information on interest rates and fees applied by banks;

- Information on insurance premiums applied by the insurance companies;

- Information about shareholding by individuals.