The fundamental philosophy behind the Banking Code for Consumer Protection (formerly known as Service Code for Consumer Banking in the Philippines) is based on the principle that the consumer is the driver of business; no business can survive without the patronage of consumers. The State itself has acknowledged the vital role of the consumer in the survival of business and industry, and therefore the economy, when it passed Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines. Under R.A. No. 7394, the State has adopted as a policy its commitment to protect the interests of the consumer, promote his general welfare and establish standards of conduct for business and industry.
Cognizant of the importance of defining and making known to the consumer his rights and responsibilities, and the values of efficient service that guide our actions, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) challenged the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), the Chamber of Thrift Banks (CTB), the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP), the Credit Card Association of the Philippines (CCAP), and the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP) to further uplift the industry’s service standards.
In August 2004, these five associations rose to the challenge, banded together to develop the Service Code for Consumer Banking in the Philippines. A team with members from these associations was formed. The team surveyed the service quality practices of the banks operating in the country. Further, the team looked at the best practices of banks and banking associations in other countries. They identified practices that are best and relevant to the country. These were all incorporated into a Code that was submitted to banks, interbank organizations and consumer groups for their critique and comments.
The industry recognizes that a bank-client relationship is based on mutual trust, and that fair banking practices produce optimum results for both parties. Therefore, adherence to high service standards remains to be the primary concern of members of the banking industry.
This Code is not cast in stone. It is a living Code under the stewardship of the Bank Marketing Association of the Philippines (BMAP) and its Council of Advisors. The BMAP will regularly review the Code, under the guidance of the Council of Advisors, and representatives from the other organizations, to institute changes, making it relevant to the times. As such, it is our hope that the Code will continue to reflect current industry practices and banking needs and requirements of the consumer, and to serve as a benchmark for both the banker and the customer in determining whether services rendered by a bank meet the standards prescribed in this Code.
In January 2011, BMAP spearheaded the updating of the Code (which has been renamed Banking Code for Consumer Protection) by incorporating current banking practices on investments and securities dealership, additional security measures for use of internet banking, and privacy issues concerning telemarketing activities via email, telephone calls and text messaging. Updated banking practices on investments and securities were provided by the National Association of Securities Broker Salesmen, Inc. (NASBI), a project of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), Money Market Association of the Philippines (MART), and Investment House of the Philippines (IHAP), which aims to adopt international best practices in the distribution of securities in the Philippines.