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Chile's Sernac reaches agreement with 7 banks over possible fraud cases

Sernac, the Chilean consumer protection agency, has reached an agreement with seven financial institutions over clauses in their contracts related to their responsibility in possible fraud cases, La Tercera reported.

The banks concerned are Banco de Credito e Inversiones SA, Banco Consorcio, Banco Internacional SA, Banco BICE, Banco Falabella, Banco Security SA and Scotiabank Chile; at the same time, Sernac is also considering further action against Banco Santander Chile, with which no deal was struck.

According to the publication, the deal follows a two-year process by Sernac, in which the agency vowed to eliminate bank clauses it claimed sought to exempt banks from responsibility in the event that consumers were victims of fraud by third parties.

Under the agreement with the banks, consumers will no longer face charges once they formally notified the bank of an irregularity. The deal includes fraud stemming phishing and pharming, as well as fraudulent misuse of clients' passwords, according to the report.

Based on local banking association data, La Tercera reported that roughly 34 Chilean pesos out of every 100,000 pesos worth of transactions come from fraudulent operations.

As of Jan. 7, US$1 was equivalent to 679.92 Chilean pesos.