Today, the European Parliament’s Economic Affairs Committee has agreed on a report demanding a single market with transparent and consumer-friendly retail financial services and products. A plenary vote in November will decide on whether this report serves as the parliament’s official position on the issue. Generally, it is expected to influence the European Commission’s plan expected by the beginning of 2017 that specifies the upcoming policy proposals in retail financial services. The report calls for:
- the development of simple, portable and safe financial consumer products and default product options.
- the reassurance that digitalization of retail finance does not result in financial exclusion of consumers.
- the end of unjustified geo-blocking in retail financial services.
- more power for consumer protection and funding to be given to the European financial supervisors for pensions and insurance (EIOPA), banking (EBA) and securities and markets (ESMA).
- out-of-court dispute resolution bodies to be truly independent and adhered by all financial firms.
Monique Goyens, Director General of BEUC, The European Consumer Organization, said: “The European Parliament has issued a powerful rallying call: Put consumers first in retail finance. Too often, legislators say they are going to change the financial system to benefit consumers, but the rules get heavily lobbied to favor existing business models. Today, the Parliament is setting consumer protection as its priority. I urge the Commission to take this report on board and start putting this principle into practice."