ERFF Update on EU Retail Financial Services
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ERFF: European Retail Financial Forum

RFS Spotlight May 2018

Monthly EU Retail Financial Services update

Since its launch in October 2015, ERFF has been working with representatives of business, consumers, and EU policymakers to create consensus on value-added ways to open up EU retail financial services (RFS) markets. ERFF’s RFS Spotlight brings you news on EU RFS policy, events, and creating benefits for customers and industry.

Austrian priorities for consumer retail financial services

While there are plenty of long weekends in May, for many it’s a still busy month. For Austrian officials that means preparations for Austria's upcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU - and we've had some advance insights on its priorities for consumer RFS.

We hear that Austria will continue to push forward with legal initiatives related to the Commission’s Action Plans on Consumer Financial Services, FinTech and Financing Sustainable Growth. These include proposals to amend Regulation 924/2009 on cross-border payments and efforts to ensure transparency of charges (Actions 1 and 2, Consumer Financial Services Action Plan). On FinTech, we understand Austria will start work on proposals for a regulation on crowdfunding, along with a proposal for a directive to amend MiFiD II. Thirdly, on sustainable finance, Austria is especially keen to see development of a common European ‘language’ (taxonomy) as a crucial foundation for standards and legislation in this area.


On 24th April 2018, the European Commission published a study on obstacles faced by consumers in the EU when buying investment funds, investment-driven life insurance or private pensions. The report is part of the Commission’s commitment to making “markets work better for consumers” as outlined in the Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan. It reveals a mixed picture: although there are numerous products available, costs vary considerably across Member States and it is difficult for consumers to collect and compare information on which to make decisions. In terms of legislation, MIFID II, PRIIPS and the Insurance Distribution Directive all play a role in this area. Looking ahead, FinTech could potentially increase access to advice, information and products (as described in the FinTech Action Plan) alongside ‘traditional’ institutions and advisers. But it’s a complex topic, so the Commission is organising a wide-ranging high-level public hearing on 29 June 2018.

Given the date of this public hearing, ERFF has re-scheduled its high-level conference on ‘Consumers at the Heart of Finance in Europe originally also planned for 29 June. The ERFF conference will now be on Wednesday 26th September 2018 at the EESC, who are kindly co-hosting the event.

Finally, regarding our recent Consensus Paper on Consumer Credit & Creditworthiness Assessments, highlighted in the previous issue, we would like to clarify that the paper reflects only the views of ERFF members and associates and not those of any other speakers or participants at the recent ERFF workshop on the same topic.

Coming up…    

Brussels Economic Forum; 5th June; Flagey, Brussels - sessions on the future of work in a digital economy, 'what financial system for a deeper EMU in a digital era?' and the future of EMU 'towards more resilience and convergence'. Details and registration here.

EC public hearing: ‘Making the CMU work for retail investors’, 29th June, all day event. Details and registration here.

ERFF conference ‘Consumers at the heart of finance in Europe’, REVISED DATE 26th September 2018 - This high-level event will be a unique opportunity to focus on consumer interests in the context of the Commission’s Action Plans on Consumer Financial Services, FinTech and Sustainable Finance. Jointly organized by ERFF and the EESC (European Economic and Social Committee), the conference will be open to policy makers, and invited consumer and business representatives. If you would to receive further details, please contact

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About ERFF
The European Retail Financial Forum (ERFF) brings together through technical workshops and events, consumers, business and policymakers to support the opening up of retail financial markets in Europe. Representing all aspects of the retail sector – traditional, wider investment and digital – we are customer-focused, favour removing key barriers, and increasing choice and transparency for all in ways that keep Europe competitive.

For further information, please contact us at:

ERFF Secretariat

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