Methodological and sanctioning activities

Národná banka Slovenska is responsible for the protection of consumer rights in the country's financial market. The task of Národná banka Slovenska is to ensure the stability of the financial system as a whole, as well as the safe and sound functioning of the financial market with a view to preserving its trustworthiness, and to protect consumers with respect to the rules of economic competition. Within the scope of its competence and powers, Národná banka Slovenska proceeds in compliance with the approved Concept of Financial Consumer Protection in order to strengthen the preventive effects of its powers in the area of supervision of compliance with the rights of financial consumers, to strengthen the confidence of consumers in the correct and sound functioning of the financial market, and to prevent financial institutions using certain business practices that have recently caused widespread dissatisfaction among their customers and are likely to damage the reputation of the sector as a whole.

For a breach of duties in the area of financial consumer protection, Národná banka Slovenska may impose a fine, a ban on the use of unfair business practices or unacceptable contractual terms to the detriment of  financial consumers, a ban on the provision of a financial service that violates the rules of consumer protection, or it may revoke the licence or other authorisation of the financial institution concerned. When imposing sanctions or remedial measures for a breach of duties in the area of financial consumer protection, Národná banka Slovenska takes into consideration the aspects of stability of the financial system as a whole.

Národná banka Slovenska is determined to protect the rights of financial consumers transparently and predictably. The most urgent priority of NBS in this area is to define a standard approach for financial institutions that are subject to supervision. This can be achieved through the issuance of methodological guidelines and opinions explaining the  relevant legal regulations if their application is problematic or ambiguous. The primary task is to define how financial institutions should, in the view of the regulator and supervisor, behave towards the  groups of consumers who are peculiarly vulnerable to potentially risky financial products and services.

Within the scope of its methodological activity, Národná banka Slovenska uses the following instruments:

a. consultation material similar to the ‘green paper' and ‘white paper' from the EU terminology, intended for public discussion about selected financial market topics;

b. opinions on the provisions of legal regulations whose application is inconsistent with the legal opinion of the supervisory authority or opinions on new regulations which should be interpreted by the supervisory authority;

c. the methodological guidelines of the Financial Market Supervision Unit, which are top-level guidelines based on the supervisory authority's standards.