As from 2015 on, two new institutions will systematically monitor consumer markets in Germany and help effectively enforce consumer interests: The watchdogs for financial markets and for the digital world.
The watchdogs are a joint project of the Federation of German Consumer Organisations as well as the 16 consumer centres of the German federal states. The watchdogs’ goal is to systematically monitor financial as well as digital consumer markets, identify upcoming problems and continuously inform the government, government agencies as well as consumers. To conceptualize and install the two bodies, the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) has provided an initial public financing for the establishment of 1,5 million Euro.
Both watchdogs will base their work on consumer complaints submitted at the federal consumer centers and will periodically report to relevant public oversight authorities as e.g. the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, the Federal Network Agency or the Federal Cartel Office.
Within the next years, relevant topics for the watchdog for financial markets will include retirement provision, consumer loans or products on the grey financial market. The watchdog for the digital world will cover issues concerning e- and mCommerce as well as digital products and services and comparison websites.
Minister of justice and consumer protection Heiko Maas said: “The consumer watchdogs will strengthen the position of consumers and increase the transparency in confusingly complex consumer markets. If erroneous trends are detected as early as possible, not only consumers but also the overall economy will profit.“
Further information can be found here.