In a statement released today, the European Commission has presented an Action Plan that sets out ways to provide European consumers with greater choice and better access to financial services across the EU. At its heart is a focus on technology, given that innovative online services will drive progress towards a more integrated market for financial services.
This Action Plan seeks to prise open national barriers as only 7% of consumers currently buy financial services from another EU Member State.
The Action Plan
The Commission has identified three main strands of further work to move a step closer to a genuine Single Market for financial services:
- Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States. Among other things, the Commission wants to make it easier for drivers to take their no-claims bonus (‘bonus-malus’) abroad. They also want to reduce fees for cross-border transactions involving non-Euro currencies and we will be taking steps towards more transparent pricing of car rental insurance.
- Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad. This will include working on common creditworthiness assessment criteria and facilitating the exchange of data between credit registers.
- Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market. They will work with the private sector to explore how they could use electronic identification and trust services for checking the identity of customers. They will also monitor the practices of digital providers to decide if rules for selling financial services remotely – such an online or by phone – should be updated.