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

RFS Spotlight July 2017

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.

EC Action Plan progress report

It’s summer in Brussels: the streets, offices and cafes are quieter than usual. But work still goes on and Commission officials are busy on the EC’s Consumer Financial Services Action Plan.

From what we hear, there’s likely to be a public consultation coming up soon on fees for non-Euro transactions and transparency in currency conversion
(Actions 1 and 2).

Behind the scenes, DGs FISMA and JUST are making progress on studies and reviews related to Actions 3, 5 and 6: easier switching between service providers, and greater transparency and cross-border portability in motor insurance. And DG JUST is leading efforts to create Europe-wide creditworthiness standards building on the Mortgage Credit Directive and existing creditworthiness assessments (Action 9) – a topic that ERFF will explore in its next technical workshop with EU policymakers before the end of year.

Over at DG CNECT, the focus is on FinTech. Officials are hard at work analysing the many responses to the EC’s public consultation on FinTech, which closed on 15 June. FinTech touches on numerous areas, so DG CNECT is engaging closely with other parties including  DG FISMA, as well as looking at potential synergies with other initiatives such as CMU, DSM and the consumer financial services Action Plan. We expect results and proposed initiatives from the FinTech consultation, including an action plan, to be available late September / early October.


On 13 July, the High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Sustainable Finance (set up by the Commission as part of its CMU reforms) published an interim report entitled “Financing a sustainable European Economy”.

In their Foreword to the report, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, and Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness say: “By reorienting public and private financial flows towards green and sustainable efforts, we can help mitigate the risks posed by climate change, and create new jobs and sustainable economic growth in the process. As Article 2 of the Paris Agreement also makes clear, the financial sector is key to enabling this transition.

HLEG Chair, Christian Thimann, noted that moving towards the desired model “…implies adjustments in policy and financial regulation, as well as changes in financial market practices, norms and behaviour.”

The interim report was discussed at a public hearing organised by the EC on 18 July 2017 in Brussels. A questionnaire is now open to provide feedback and input for the final report due to be published at the end of the year. Deadline for responses: 20 September.

Read the EC PR and find links to more details here. See also background and links to the survey on the DG FISMA site, here.

PEPPs (pan-European Personal Pension Products) came a step closer on 29 June with the Commission's proposal for a new regulatory framework. The Commission believes the framework will create opportunities for more providers to offer more products and encourage more Europeans to take out voluntary pension provisions. As part of completing CMU, the new regulations also aim to boost cross-border portability of pension products, while increasing investment in European businesses.

Finally, a reminder on the status of relevant EP reports: A resolution on MEP Cora van Nieuwenhuizen’s report for the ECON Committee – FinTech: the influence of technology on the future of the financial sector was adopted in the European Parliament on 17 May. Looking ahead, MEP Olle Ludvigsson’s draft report on the European Commission’s Action Plan on Retail Financial Services is scheduled for a vote in the ECON committee in October.

And some summer reading: the EBA and ESMA responses to the EC’s FinTech consultation published in June 2017.

Coming up…

Workshop on eID and digital on-boarding, Wednesday 4 October 2017, Brussels – hosted by the European Commission, this full-day workshop will allow participants to hear preliminary results of a study mapping digital on-boarding practices across the EU, and to share experiences and feedback which will be used to enrich the final report. Register here.

ERFF members’ meeting & working lunch with EC officials, 12 September 2017, Brussels. The working lunch is open to members, associates and invited guests only. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at:

About ERFF

The European Retail Financial Forum (ERFF) brings together around one table 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 Fiona Murray, ERFF Secretary General, at:

ERFF Secretariat

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