Law review protects consumers from charges

Monday February 08 2021
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New law seeks to protect consumers of bank services against extra charges. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA


Rwandans could save money following the amendment of the financial services consumer protection law that has made it mandatory for a client to first request for a service before they are charged, Rwanda Today has learnt.

Key amendments in the law provide protection for financial services consumers, such as prohibitions in provision of unsolicited services, requirements for the documents provided to a financial service consumer, maximum amount of interest on outstanding loan as well as notification of changes to the contract.

According to the law awaiting publication in the official gazette, a client can only be charged for services requested by the consumer.

Contracts must be written and explained clearly to the consumers in one of official languages based on consumer’s preference, according to the law.

This will help to address language barriers where some businesses provide contracts in one language which clients may not understand.

Pie Nizeyimana, Member of Parliament, told Rwanda Today that financial services consumer protection law has been amended to protect consumers “They used to charge services that the consumer has never asked for. For example, a financial institution can send an account statement SMS without the account owner’s request.


The message is charged for someone who prefers getting the service upon request. But article 8 of the amended law came in to address this”, Mr Nizeyimana told Rwanda Today.

He said that its article 9, addresses the problem of language barrier, “Most of the contracts and other financial documents are mostly in English, and/or some trap articles written in very small and hidden letters.