EU must bring down ‘unnecessarily complicated’ cross-border barriers: FECIF

The European Federation of Financial Intermediaries and Financial Advisers (FECIF) has called for the scrapping of  ‘unnecessarily complicated’ cross-border barriers.

FECIF said that whilst many barriers have been removed by recent or forthcoming Regulation and Directives (for instance, EMIR, CSDR and MiFID II), significant steps must still be taken for the creation of a “truly unified” capital markets industry.

FECIF said that it believes that the European Commission’s effort to create a Capital Markets Union (CMU) within the EU must be backed and supported by all parties involved in the financial services sector.

“We believe that following Brexit, the need and necessity to modernise and clarify this overly regulated and, in some instances, unnecessarily complicated sector is greater than ever,” FECIF board member Kevin Mudd said.

‘Unjustified national barriers’

“Cross-border competition and efficiency must be introduced and the only way to achieve that is by deregulating unjustified national barriers and introducing harmonised rules across all Member States.

“We strongly believe and assert that the underlying purpose of the CMU initiative must specifically be to abolish national barriers, which have proven to prohibit and limit the cross-border distribution of funds for instance,” he added.

FECIF made its views known on what I calls “these shortcomings” in its recent submission to the EU’s Inception Impact Assessment Initiative in relation to “reducing barriers to cross-border distribution of investment funds”.


“The uncertainty of different legislative obstacles, mainly at the national level of the Member States, restricts to a large extend the marketing of funds”, Mudd added.

“Removing barriers mainly at national level and clarifying definitions to have the same interpretation across all Member States are the key elements for the facilitation of the cross-border distribution of funds outside of their domicile member states.”

Mudd points that the Alternative Investment Fund Marketing Directive (AIFMD) was introduced (and/or proposed for implementation) in the 31 EU/EEA Member States and those which have implemented it into national law and national rules have ended up with “significantly different rules and regulations” between them.

“This was the obvious result of the flexibility and elasticity of rules and definitions which were allowed within the wording of the AIFMD,” he said.


FECIF said that it is adamant that future developments must be directed towards the creation of a CMU where all parties involved are clearly defined, with roles and responsibilities adequately, evenly and realistically allocated and barriers that prevent and/or have a material impact on the cross-border distribution of funds, or financial services in general, are reduced or abolished.

“A pivotal element for the efficient and continuous distribution of funds across a CMU is legal certainty,” FECIF secretary general Paul Stanfield, pictured above, added.

”What should have been a simple and cost efficient process – the cross-border distribution of AIFs – has unfortunately proved to be a very expensive and burdensome process. The creation of a CMU presupposes common definitions in relation to marketing and pre-marketing activities.

“Regrettably, the interpretations across the EU actually vary widely, which is the primary source of much uncertainty and confusion.”

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Gary Robinson
Head of Video and Ezines at Open Door Media Publishing. Deputy Editor, International Investment. An experienced journalist and filmmaker with more than 20 years' financial services experience, both as journalist and originally as a fully qualified IFA, Gary works across both International Investment and InvestmentEurope titles. Previous video production credits include projects on BBC, C4 and SKY.

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