Financial information transparency

  • Financial consumer protection
  • Accounting rules
  • Independent audit regulation
  • Audits attesting
  • Risk rating regulation

ICC has participated in the design and implementation of mechanisms to enhance the transparency, content and timeliness of the information that financial institutions publicly provide, accounting regulation, independent auditors and risk rating agencies regulation.

Our regulatory proposals have included the equilibrium in the contractual relationship; clarity in the information provided to current and potential customers, including conditions, fees and risks involved in the products and services offered by financial institutions to depositors, small investors, pensioners and insurance buyers. With regard to loan products, we have introduced regulation to improve transparency in interest rates, fees and other elements on a comparable basis, including common methodologies for the determination of Annual Percentage Rates. We have supported the introduction of consumers’ rights vis-à-vis private credit bureaus, including privacy and the right of redress. Consultancies in this area include one regional study on behalf of the Association of Banking Supervisors of the Americas, ASBA, as well as support to national authorities in Bolivia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru.

ICC has designed and implemented accounting manuals and regulations for banks and financial institutions in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela. We have also evaluated accounting regimes for banks in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Our consultants have also elaborated accounting manuals for the capital markets (exchanges, brokers, issuers) and pension funds in El Salvador and for bonded warehouses in Peru in accordance with IFRS.

We believe the work produced by independent auditors as complementing supervisors’ activities. Thus, it is important to clearly define their activities, the content, structure and frequency of their reports. We have drafted external audits regulation in Peru, Bolivia, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador.

In 2011, we designed applications, procedures and mechanisms to improve information transparency, as well as customer service and rights’ protection. The consultancy also developed the associated supervisory processes in Guatemala. The same year, in Honduras, we carried out a similar assignment, alongside a consultancy to design a Financial Education Campaign, specifically directed towards the less well off and less educated segments of the population.

We have performed audit attesting in Bolivia, in 1988 (commercial banks) and again in 2002 (other financial institutions). In both cases our consultants discussed with the independent auditors procedures, audit planning, and the main conclusions of their reports.

Latin America and Caribbean Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

We managed, on behalf of the Inter-American Development Bank and Corporacion Andina de Fomento, a three-year program (2009-2012) to support and enhance the financial and operational transparency of microfinance providers by partially financing credit ratings performed by specialized and mainstream raters. As part of this program, we prepared a draft document on Best Practices in Micro Finance Institutions Ratings, based on selected case studies.

ICC conducted (2014-2015) a study on the regulation of credit rating agencies and how financial supervisors in the area are using credit ratings as a supervisory tool, with special emphasis in microfinance.