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LatinNews Daily - 10 February 2021

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In brief: Contentious reforms to consumer rights law take effect in Nicaragua

* New reforms to consumer rights legislation approved by Nicaragua’s national assembly have taken effect. Among other things, the changes allow for banks and providers of financial services to be sanctioned for denying customers access to their services. The changes have been widely slammed by the country’s leading private sector lobby, Cosep, as well as other business groups such as US-Nicaraguan chamber of commerce (Amcham), Cámara de Industrias de Nicaragua (Cadin), and the banks’ association Asociación de Bancos Privados de Nicaragua (Asobanp). These warn that the reforms, which are widely considered an attempt to protect those sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for human rights violations and corruption, deals a blow to the autonomy of banks and could facilitate money laundering.