Reports of the EU’s decision to delay the implementation of the controversial PRIIPs by 12 months have been welcomed by a European IFA trade body boss and regulation lobbyist.
Reacting to industry reports that the delay is set to be implemented, though as yet unconfirmed by the European Commission itself, Paul Stanfield, chief executive of FEIFA and secretary general of FECIF, said that he pleased that “common sense” had prevailed.
A decision on PRIIPs was set for a final debate in the European Commission following a landmark decision by MEPs to overturn recommendations for implementation, as reported, with the date of November 9 earmarked. It was widely understood that the Commission will now use this date to announce a 12 month delay of the directive.
“Thankfully it seems that common sense has finally won out,” said Stanfield, pictured below left. “PRIIPs is a very important piece of the EU regulatory jigsaw and forms a significant element of necessary consumer protection.
“That is why it has to be right – it should not mislead investors or lead to a reduction in their financial options and choices, that would obviously be to the detriment of consumers and therefore counter-productive,” he said.
Stanfield added that this afternoon, the European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (FECIF’s) Brussels office has been told that, whilst the delay is likely, any formal decision is not fully set in stone.
‘Still on 9 November agenda’
And while it seems that the European Commission is “seriously considering the possibility of postponing the implementation of the PRIIPs regulation”, the College of Commissioners will still look to discuss the issue on 9 November (it is on the agenda for the meeting on that date), as previously expected.
“I fully believe that a delay is in the interests of all relevant stakeholders, not least consumers – and if the Commission decides to adhere to the original timescale I have concerns that significant consumer detriment could result,” said Stanfield.
PRIIPs has been debated widely across the last 12 months and saw a landmark overturn vote by the European Commission relating the the proposition’s KID documentation that may observers were calling misleading amid concerns of a future miss-selling scandal.
Stanfield added: “The additional time now needs to be used sensibly and productively to address the concerns expressed by consumer groups and industry experts.”
At the time of going to press the European Commission were not available to comment and were unable to advance any further information on their previously reported “no comment” stance on the exact date of a delay, if any.