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

RFS Spotlight July 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 2019 Consumer Journey goes further

Over the last six months, ERFF has been on a voyage of exploration. Along with consumer representatives, business and other stakeholders, the ERFF 2019 Consumer Journey has set out to discover where consumer expectations are being met - and where this is not yet fully the case - in the context of EU policy and regulation on retail financial services.

As part of this journey, we’ve held two Consumer Dialogues with consumer organisations from across the EU, on January 30th and 21st May respectively. We have also met with European Commission officials, representatives from the Permanent Representatives of the upcoming EU Council presidency countries (Finland, Croatia and Germany) and other actors who are playing an increasing role in retail finances such as major technology companies.

During the Consumer Dialogues, ERFF and consumer representatives identified points where the consumer experience could still be improved and generated potential solutions and suggestions. These have been gathered into a Discussion Paper that will feed into the 2nd ERFF Annual Conference ‘Consumers at the heart of finance in Europeto be held on 5th November 2019 in Brussels (see 'Coming up...' for more details).

The paper focuses on three key areas: opening a bank account and daily banking; obtaining credit; investment, pensions and insurance. It highlights that while EU regulation such as SEPA, PSD2, and MiFid2 assist in the provision of retail financial products, consumer expectations of accessing financial services across the EU are still often frustrated. But in today's digital, mobile world, consumers and industry alike want citizens to have access products and services across borders. And they want these to be available via digital channels and supported by succinct, easily digestible information.


On 18 June, the EC published its new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting, as part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan. “These guidelines will provide companies with practical recommendations on how to better report the impact that their activities are having on the climate as well as the impact of climate change on their business”. Read the full Press Release for more details and links to background materials. DG FISMA also has a handy summary of sustainable finance here.

On the same day, the Technical Expert Group (TEG) on sustainable finance published three new reports including key recommendations on the types of economic activities that can make a real contribution to climate change mitigation or adaptation (taxonomy): The publication of these reports was followed by a Stakeholder Dialogue on the 24th June. You can find more details and watch the video here.

On 28 June the EC published an article outlining its thinking on 'instant payments' and how to create a truly European model. The Commission is planning a full review of the take-up of instant payments in mid-2020.

As we write, the European Council has just announced its nominations for the EU's top jobs which will go to the Parliament for approval. It may not be entirely plain-sailing from this point, but by the time we publish our next newsletter, the appointments should be finalised. And ERFF is looking forward to engaging with the new Commission and MEPs in the autumn. Until then, we wish you a good summer.

Coming up…   

2nd ERFF annual conference ‘Consumers at the heart of finance in Europe’, 5th November 2019. Among the topics: issues and potential solutions related to the consumer experience of retail financial services (especially cross-border) raised in the ERFF 2019 Consumer Journey Discussion Paper. This event will be open to consumer representatives, EC officials, MEPs, and industry stakeholders. If you are interested in receiving an invitation, please contact us at

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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