FECIF endorses draft opinion on EC’s Action Plan for consumer financial services
FECIF, the Brussels-based organisation which represents more than 245,000 European financial advisers and intermediaries, has endorsed a draft opinion released by the European Economic and Social Committee on the Consumer Financial Services Action Plan, which, it notes, echoes its own position with respect to such issues as over-regulation and what it says is a need for greater harmonisation of rules across the bloc.
According to FECIF, the EESC’s draft opinion on the Consumer Financial Services Action Plan (CFSAP), which International Investment was unable to obtain a copy of and which is not available on the EESC’s website, “represents the ideas we have been advocating at FECIF since the launch of the Financial Services Action Plan in 1999”.
The Consumer Financial Services Action Plan was first set out in March by the European Commission, which said it was aimed at providing European Consumers “with greater choice and better access to financial services across the EU”. At present, only 7% of EU consumers buy financial services from another EU member state.
In its statement today, FECIF said: “[Recently] we stated that following Brexit, there [would be] an urgent need and necessity to modernise and clarify the overly regulated environment, which is working against the interests of comparability and transparency of financial products and services.
“The EESC recommends taking steps to also ensure that the tax arrangements for products and services are no longer an obstacle to fair competition.
“[In addition] the EESC states in its draft opinion that ‘ultimately, if we want the results obtained for citizens and businesses to be effective and efficient at minimising costs, any action and any text on the subject must build upon and take into account the principles of REFIT (the EU Commission’s Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme)’.
“It is important that any future legislation and regulation remains simple and removes unnecessary burdens. Similarly, in order to achieve a genuine single market, which is not fragmented, any over-regulation at national or regional level must be avoided.
“Consumers should be able to choose freely from a wide range of financial services and products available across the entire EU; the member state where the provider is located should no longer be a relevant factor where EU requirements have been met.”