ECON publishes draft retail FS plan

The EP has published a draft report on the Action Plan for retail financial services. The report:

  • says the EU retail financial services market is still underdeveloped and fragmented, but recognises that such a market will work only if it delivers real customer value;
  • welcomes the Commission’s action plan working towards a single technology-enabled market;
  •  agrees that all cross-border and national payments involving payments in non-euro currencies should be identical;
  • emphasises the need for transparency in currency conversion;
  • calls for legislation that make it easier for customers to change financial services providers and products following on from the PAD;
  • urges the Commission to set up a user-friendly EU comparison portal covering the entire European retail financial markets;
  • calls for a change to the IDD to include car rental companies selling insurance add-ons with a view to ensuring transparent pricing covering all car rental companies across the Member States;
  • says addressing consumer over-indebtedness linked to credit activities must be given priority if the Commission aims to explore ways of facilitating cross-border access to loans and creating a deeper single market for consumer credit;
  • emphasises that the dismantling of national barriers should not be to the detriment of consumer protection;
  • calls on the Commission to amend the MCD and the CCD to introduce compulsory, harmonised, cross-border creditworthiness assessment standards and principles to better mitigate the risk of increasing over-indebtedness if there is an increase in pan-European online credit;
  • wants a FinTech Action Plan in the CMU and digital single market framework strategies;
  • emphasises the need for the identification and removal of regulatory barriers in pan-European electronic signature systems so there can be easier cross-border customer digital onboarding without compromising AML considerations; and
  • stresses the need to adapt the existing EU legal framework for the digital world.

ECON says the Commission has presented its Action Plan ‘just in time’ as the digitalisation of retail financial services is changing consumer behaviour and financial markets at an ever-increasing speed. As a result of this, European legislation must be innovative and adaptable in order to promote competition and provide better products at a lower cost without compromising on consumer protection.