Protection of Consumers Against Deception in the Financial Sector

Péter Miskolczi Bodnár

University Professor, Head of Department, Member of the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority, Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Hungary, Budapest

Published in: Public Finance Quarterly 2014/1 (p. 7-27.)

Summary: The present article describes the decisions of the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) concerning financial institutions adopted in the period 1997–2012. GVH sanctioned certain types of behaviour that not only infringed consumers’ rights, but also affected competition in the market adversely, weakening the position of competitors. The article outlines the types of deception and presents the information provided for the most important financial products. The study reviews the shortcomings of the information provided regarding special offers and variable structure product and the legality and modifying effect of the banks’ unilateral alteration of contracts. The author draws attention to the fact that information falsely presenting financial services as free of charge violates several rules and reminds us that the illegality of this information cannot be mitigated for by later conduct. The article considers the effects of GVH’s decisions on the behaviour of the financial institutions and makes recommendations for avoiding infringements of the law.

Keywords: advertising activity, bank, consumption, competition, deception

Journal of Economic Literature (JEL) kód: K21

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