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MFSA issues guidance to consumers on the use of financial services during these extraordinary times

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In light of
the COVID-19 pandemic, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has
issued a
set of guidelines
 to consumers, also outlining the measures it has put
in place to safeguard their interests during such extraordinary times.

These
guidelines complement the continued efforts being made by the Authority in its
engagement with authorised firms to understand the potential impact which
COVID-19 is having on their business and clients. Through the publication of
regulatory updates, the MFSA’s priority is to ensure that authorised firms have
contingency plans in place to keep offering their services as close to normal
as possible but also continue to treat customers fairly.

When it
comes to banking services, customers are being encouraged to make more use of
online and mobile banking services in view of the social distancing guidelines
issued by the Health Authorities. Consumers are also being made aware of a
potential surge in internet purchases and are advised to be vigilant of their
own security online, when making payments.

For those
consumers who are considering either investing, buying or selling an
investment, caution is being advocated in taking these decisions in times like
these, since information may be outdated in a matter of days and forecasts may
prove unreliable. Generally, it is highly recommended that investors consult a
licensed financial intermediary before investing.

Insurance
policy holders are being guided on the various measures which are being taken
by the MFSA in relation to the different types of insurance policies which
could be affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. To this effect, a separate Circular has
also been issued, addressing in more detail the levels of coverage for each
type of insurance and the applicable terms for the most common situations faced
by policy holders, as a result of the current pandemic. For travel insurance
specifically, guidance is being given on actions consumers should take in the
event of a holiday cancellation, self-isolation and when making travel plans.

During these
times, the general public is also being advised to be cautious of fraudulent
schemes or financial scams which may try to take advantage of the COVID-19
outbreak to misappropriate funds or obtain sensitive personal information.
Caution should be taken when being presented with social media adverts which
give advice in relation to investments in developing cures, request donations,
promote medical and health insurance policies for COVID-19, offer sale of
supplies, and entities which use fake/phishing websites or emails with
malicious content. Any suspicious activity should be reported immediately to
the MFSA via https://www.mfsa.mt/about-us/contact/

As events
unfold, the general public is encouraged to keep following updates on financial
products and heed advice on their relationship with financial services
providers through a dedicated section
on the MFSA website
.

The post MFSA issues guidance to consumers on the use of financial services during these extraordinary times appeared first on maltawinds.com.

Original article found on Malta Winds

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