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

RFS Spotlight February 2019

Monthly EU Retail Financial Services update

Since its launch in October 2015, ERFF has been bringing together business, consumers and EU policymakers through workshops and events to seek 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.

ERFF kicks off 'consumer journey' for 2019

ERFF kicked off the year with a 2-way dialogue with consumer representatives on issues in retail financial services across Europe on 30th January in Brussels. This informal, interactive session marked the start of a year when ERFF will be focusing on the ‘consumer journey’ in retail financial services across a lifetime from youth to retirement. Together with industry and consumer representatives, we aim to look at what’s working and what isn’t in terms of EU policy and legislation.

What came up in the discussion on 30th January? Concerns about how and what data is collected for consumer creditworthiness assessments featured prominently. Consumer organisations worry about privacy and risks such as exclusion or over-indebtedness. And they called out both service providers and national supervisors on uneven treatment of consumers between Member States, including inadequate enforcement and lack of redress in many countries. What many actors on all sides want is balanceconsumer protection that’s applied evenly across the EU and delivered via clear, easy-to-understand products without large quantities of paperwork.

ERFF will be continuing its ‘consumer journey’ with further events and dialogues throughout the year. Please contact us, if you’d like to be informed of future events / outcomes:


In December last year, the Commission ticked off an action point from its Consumer Financial Services Action Plan published in March 2017, with the agreement by the European Parliament and the Council on cross-border payments across the entire EU (euro and non-euro zone countries). The agreed rules will also bring full transparency in currency conversion when consumers are paying by card. Among other things, this will tackle the lack of clarity around ‘dynamic currency conversion’ for consumers making purchases outside their home country.

Welcome to Eric Ducoulombier who is the new Head of Unit for Retail Financial Services within Dir B of DG FISMA.  M. Ducoulombier replaces Ralf Jacob. You can see the new DG FISMA organisation chart published at the start of the year here.

The Commission’s work on sustainable finance is progressing. Now, the technical expert group on sustainable finance (set up in July 2018) is inviting feedback on the first proposed activities that contribute substantially to climate change mitigation and on the usability of its taxonomy. Contribute here.

Coming up…    

9 April 2019 - ERFF Members and Associates will be holding an informal meeting with the EDPB (European Data Protection Board) to learn more about its structure and ways of working as they relate to retail financial services.

About ERFF

The European Retail Financial Forum (ERFF) brings together, through 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 consumer-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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