...TO HAVE FINANCIALLY EDUCATED AND PROTECTED CONSUMERS AT THE MARKET
Three days, the RA Financial Conciliator's Office (FCO) held seminar-trainings in Stepanakert, the representative of which, specialist in investigating the claims of the Financial Conciliator's Office, lawyer Hayk Hovhannisian informed that the trainings were aimed at increasing consumers' awareness of financial education.
Within the visit, the organizers met with high school pupils, university students, representatives of government- and financial institutions, major employers, employees of state- and municipal bodies and representatives of some segments of the society.
The FCO is an independently management structure, the founder of which is the RA Central Bank. In fact, it is a mediatory court for resolving financial disputes; it is called to serve a mediator in resolving property disputes between financial organizations and individual consumers. According to Hayk Hovhannisian, the services of conciliator are free and the process of discussing the complaints is simple, fast and transparent. "In addition to disputes' resolution, the financial conciliator activities are aimed at the protection of the rights and interests of consumers in the financial sphere, fast, efficient and free investigation of consumers' demands, as well as increase of public confidence towards the financial system", he said.
It should be noted that the FCO was founded in the RA in 2008, in accordance with the RA Law "On the Financial System Conciliator", and started its activity in January 2009.
According to Hayk Hovhannisian, the necessity of creating such a structure was conditioned by the fact that Armenia lacked a specialized extrajudicial structure for discussing consumers' complaints in the financial sphere and resolving consumer organizations' disputes, the services of which will be free and impartial and effective investigation of cases will be carried out.
Lacking such a structure, if consumers had property or monetary claims against financial institutions, they could solve the issues only through a court (or through the arbitration court operating under the Union of Banks). In both cases, the process is long, costly and complicated. Besides, in case of the arbitration court, the consumer could apply to the court only if a written intermediary agreement was signed by the parties. Meanwhile, in accordance with the legislation, the customer has the right to apply to the FCO, regardless of whether such a right is provided by the contract between the customer and the organization or not.
However, the seminar participants asked a question - why should they trust the conciliator? Hayk Hovhannisian answered that because it is an independent structure, has independent funding, operates on the principles of transparency, efficiency and justice, which is testified by the analysis and of which the consumers themselves become convinced in the process. The customer does not lose anything, because all the services are really free, and the process is transparent and understandable.
"We perform these works in order to have financially educated and protected consumers at the market", said. Hovhannisian, adding that the processes implemented by the office for the financially fair and successful organizations can have positive influence, as they publish the names of the companies working fairly.
Can the recent meetings organized in Artsakh by the FCO be considered as a preparatory basis? In this regard, he noted that there was such an idea, but he didn't want to go ahead of events - maybe, the RA Office will have a representation office in Nagorno Karabakh next year.
Currently, similar cases in the territory of Artsakh are discussed by the RA FCO, because Armenia and Artsakh are in a single financial field, the NKR financial institutions are licensed by the corresponding bodies of the RA (for example, the Central Bank), which serves as a basis for the FCO.
The seminars will be continued, and its geography may be expanded in the NKR regions.
- 1820 Birth of Ghevond Alishan (armenologist) in Constantinople. He died in 1901.
- 1881 Dr. Bagrat Navasardyan (physician) and Gabriel Sundukian (playwright) create the "Armenian Benevolent Society of the Caucasus" in Tbilissi (Georgia).
- 1888 Death of the scholar Reverend Hovhannes Teroyents Chamoorjian. He was noted as a conservative and traditionalist. He played an important role in public life at that time.
- 1918 Death of Hambardzoom Arakelian, the editor of the "Mshak" newspaper, in Tbilisi.
- 1991 Unsuccessful Azeri Turk attack on Erkeg (Shahumian district, Artsakh).