ERFF: European Retail Financial Forum
RFS Spotlight July 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.
Despite the summer heat, Brussels is still busy and on 28 June, ERFF organised a Working Lunch on PEPP (Pan-European Pension Product). Steve Ryan, Deputy Head of Unit, Insurance & Pensions, DG FISMA, and a colleague of MEP Sophie in’t Veld, rapporteur on the PEPP dossier, were among the participants. The discussion ranged over issues of tax and portability (particularly the challenge of different tax regimes across the EU), the need to distinguish between mature and less mature markets, and the question of lump sums or annuities in the decumulation phase.
Although there are diverging points of view on how to implement PEPP, all stakeholders are seeking solutions that serve EU consumers well. And the consumer experience of retail financial services will be the focus of the joint ERFF EESC (European Economic & Social Committee) high-level conference, ‘Consumers at the heart of finance in Europe’, to be held on 26th September 2018.
The conference will be hosted by Ariane Rodert, President of the Section for the Single Market, Production and Consumption, EESC. Keynote speakers confirmed so far include MEP Othmar Karas, who will speak on ‘A New Deal for Consumers: improving the implementation of financial services legislation’.
For more on the conference aims and panel topics, see Coming up... below.
In case you missed it, a recording of the Commission’s public hearing on ‘Making the capital markets union work for retail investors’ (29 June 2018) is still online. A preceding study commissioned by the EC had shown that retail investors have access to a wide range of products but obtaining information and making meaningful comparisons between them remains difficult. The study also noted the rise of robo-advice and FinTech distribution channels. All this provided plentiful food for thought ahead of the hearing, which covered these topics and more in the light of recent EU legislation (especially the MiFID II, PRIIPs and Insurance distribution directives).
Summer may be time to catch up on some reading on other EC initiatives such as Sustainable Finance. DG FISMA has launched a series of background articles, with the latest outlining what the EU means by ‘environmental taxonomy’.
The Commission has also just published the Roadmap for the Evaluation of Directive 2008/48/EC on credit agreements for consumers. This first stage of the process provides an opportunity for citizens and stakeholders to give their views on the functioning of the Directive. The Consultation will be on line until 27 July 2018.
26 September, 2018 - Joint ERFF / EESC high-level conference:
‘Consumers at the heart of finance in Europe’, 9h00-14h00, EESC, Brussels
The conference will debate progress and next steps on the EC Action Plans on Consumer Financial Services, FinTech and Financing Sustainable Growth; create knowledge around the EESC’s opinion on the Action Plans; and look at challenges in moving towards a single market of financial products that is safer and more inclusive for consumers in an increasingly digitalized context.
Panel discussions on: 1) How close are we to "a genuine technology-enabled Single Market for retail financial services where consumers can get the best deals while being well protected"? 2) Building transparency & trust for a sustainable future.
Speakers / panel members will include representatives from the EESC, European consumer organisations, MEPs, Commission officials, and representatives of the Austrian Presidency.
Places are limited, so if you would like to be kept informed or to apply to attend, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
4 December 2018 - ERFF Techncial Workshop hosted by MEP Danuta Hübner
Impact of Brexit on consumers in retail financial services
Discussion of issues and potential solutions in areas such as contract continuity for retail investment contracts, including implications and impact for consumers/citizens e.g. their savings, pensions – both in the UK and in the EU cross-border.
If you are interested in the possibility of attending, please contact us at email@example.com
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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: firstname.lastname@example.org