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

RFS Spotlight December 2018

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 workshop on Impact of Brexit

While uncertainty continues to surround Brexit, businesses and consumers struggle to prepare for the practical implications. ERFF members and invited guests discussed the Impact of Brexit on consumers in retail financial services at a workshop on 4th December 2018. Nicola Pesaresi, Head of Unit DG Competition and member of the Commission’s Task Force 50 responsible for ‘cross-cutting policies and level playing field’ gave an opening presentation, before the roundtable discussion.

The Political Declaration agreed by the EU 27 and the UK endorses key principles concerning a future agreement with the UK including financial stability, fair competition and investor and consumer protection. Representatives from both consumer organisations and industry nonetheless expressed concerns that consumers could be adversely affected. Specific issues raised included contract continuity, passporting rights and impact on investments and pensions. Paul Fox of Finance Watch particularly emphasised consumer issues, referring also to Finance Watch’s recent briefing note on the future EU-UK trade relationship.


Following the success of the joint  ERFF EESC conference on ‘Consumers at the heart of finance in Europe’ in September 2018, ERFF will be diving deeper into the consumer journey in 2019. This will cover the many points where retail financial services touch people’s lives e.g. buying goods and services (including FinTech, personal v. robo advice), loans and indebtedness (consumer credit, etc), buying a house (EU mortgage directive), insurance (relevant EU legislation), and preparing for the future (pensions / PEPP, investments / sustainable finance).

Planned activities include workshops with consumer groups and policy makers, as well as the publication of an ERFF consensus paper exploring key regulatory issues, obstacles and solutions. The aim is to prepare the ground for a second conference on Consumers at the heart of finance in Europe in autumn 2019, and to share the outcomes with the incoming MEPs in the new Parliament.

The 2019 ERFF programme also marks a continuation of its activities and input into the discussions around the Commission’s Action Plans on Consumer Financial Services, FinTech and Sustainable Finance.

We look forward to working with many of you and to welcoming you to ERFF events in 2019. In the meantime, we wish you all the best for the festive season and the New Year.

Coming up…    

8-9 January 2019, Brussels, Promoting Sustainable Finance – The European Commission’s technical expert group (TEG) and the community of practice in financial research (CoPFiR) are organising this event, which aims to allow researchers to promote the exchange of ideas and knowledge between academics, professionals and policy makers on how to mobilise the necessary financing for green and sustainable investments. A call for papers is now open.

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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