Interbank case: Indecopi investigates problems in its clients’ accounts that trigger important questions about their rights as  consumers under       Peruvian law.

Last Saturday, September 16, users of Interbank, one of the largest financial institutions in Peru, were involved in a worrying situation. Several reports in social networks evidenced problems in customers’ accounts, ranging from duplicity of consumptions to unjustified discounts. As a result, the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi) decided to initiate an ex officio investigation of the financial institution. This situation raises important questions about consumer protection regulations in Peru and how they are applied in cases such as this one.

Indecopi’s Investigation

Indecopi, as the regulatory body in charge of overseeing competition and the protection of consumer rights in Peru, took action in the matter by initiating an ex officio investigation of Interbank. This action was carried out through its Auditing Directorate, with the purpose of clarifying the causes behind the problems in the customers’ accounts and the actions that the financial entity has taken or plans to take to solve the situation.

Indecopi’s reaction is crucial to ensure that consumers’ rights are respected and that current consumer protection regulations are complied with. The entity is responsible for supervising and sanctioning companies that do not comply with regulations aimed at protecting customers.

Consumer Complaints

Through social networks, Interbank customers shared their experiences and concerns about problems with their accounts. These problems included duplicity of consumption and unjustified discounts in their bank accounts. The testimonies of those affected reflected their frustration and anguish, as some found it difficult to access their own money.

One of the most prominent complaints was the case of a customer who stated: “I cannot withdraw the money from my piggy bank because it disappears immediately, 60 soles have already disappeared. I need an answer, nor can I make use of my money”. This situation highlights the importance of consumer protection and how problems in financial services can have a significant impact on people’s lives.

Interbank’s Response

In response to the growing concern of customers, Interbank issued a statement on Sunday, September 17, assuring that customers’ balances “are safe” and that they were working to resolve the situation. However, some users criticized the delay in the bank’s response, pointing out that the massive system failure had occurred the previous day.

Consumer Protection Regulations in Peru

In Peru, consumer protection is an issue of great importance and is supported by a solid legal framework. The Consumer Protection Code (Law No. 29571) establishes the rights and duties of consumers, as well as the obligations of suppliers of goods and services.

Some of the most relevant rights that this law grants to consumers include the right to truthful and timely information, the right to the quality and suitability of goods and services, the right to consumer safety and the right to repair, replacement or return of defective products. In addition, the law prohibits abusive commercial practices and establishes sanctions for companies that do not comply with their obligations.

The situation at Interbank highlights the importance of consumer protection regulations in Peru and the crucial role of Indecopi as a regulator. Consumers have rights that must be respected by companies, especially in the financial sector, where trust is fundamental. The ongoing investigation will shed light on the causes behind the problems in customer accounts and determine whether consumer rights have been violated.

The typical infringements in the case of banks are for unrecognized operations and undue collection; in the present case, it would be the former, since there was subtraction of money without any criteria, this is strictly based on articles 18 and 19 of our Code.

Consumers must be informed about their rights and be ready to denounce any violation of them. Consumer protection regulations are designed to ensure that companies operate in a fair and transparent manner, and it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure compliance.

Ultimately, this situation highlights the importance of consumer protection in a world increasingly focused on financial services and underscores the need for companies to commit to the satisfaction and safety of their customers.

Dr. Luiggi Bazán Mesias

Dr. Luiggi Bazán Mesias

Lawyer - Intellectual Property and Consumer Protection Area

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