Extracts from the joint press conference by John Dalli and Teresa Moreira on the initial findings of the 2011 sweep and EU-wide investigation of websites offering consumer credit

Type: Summary of press conference   Reference: I-071971   Duration: 10:03:10  Lieu:
End production: 10/01/2012   First transmission: 10/01/2012
On 10/01/2012 in Brussels, John Dalli, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, and Teresa Moreira, Director-General for International Economic Relations at the Portuguese Ministry for Economy and Innovation, presented during the joint press conference, the initial findings of the 2011 Sweep, an EU-wide investigation of websites offering consumer credit. Enforcers checked whether consumers were receiving the information to which they were entitled under EU consumer law before signing a consumer credit contract. National Enforcement Authorities checked more than 500 websites offering consumer credit across the 27 Member States plus Norway and Iceland. The sweep operation checked in particular how business was applying the Consumer Credit Directive (recently transposed in Member States), which aimed to make it easier for consumers to understand and compare credit offers.

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TIME DESCRIPTION DURATION
10:00:00 Title 00:00:05
10:00:05 Arrival of the speakers 00:00:06
10:00:11 Soundbite (in ENGLISH) by John Dalli, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy: all 27 EU Member States, as well as Norway and Iceland participated again in the sweep in 2011. This time, we chose to target the websites offering consumers credit because the consumer market scoreboard has shown that this sector is underperforming for consumers. Many complains were brought to the attention of both the National Enforcement Authorities and the European Consumers Centre. 00:00:31
10:00:42 Cutaway of a screen 00:00:05
10:00:47 Soundbite (in ENGLISH) by John Dalli: the aim is to bring unfair practises in line with the EU law. So now the enforcement phase begins. National Enforcement Authorities will contact business operators asking them to clarify or to correct the website. The NEA will report back to the Commission in Autumn of 2012. 00:00:23
10:01:10 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
10:01:16 Soundbite (in ENGLISH) by John Dalli: I would like to urge financial institutions and credit intermediaries to ensure that they provide the right information to consumers. It is of capital importance that both consumers and businesses can have confidence in operating online. This confidence will contribute to boost in the digital economy which still has a huge unexploited potential. 00:00:23
10:01:39 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:07
10:01:46 Soundbite (in ENGLISH) by John Dalli: the whole exercise of this sweep is to ensure that whatever the capabilities of the bank itself, the website offering services to consumers is giving the correct information covering all the legal requirements that have already been set out. 00:00:20
10:02:07 Cutaway of a photographer 00:00:05
10:02:12 Soundbite (in ENGLISH) by Teresa Moreira, Director-General for International Economic Relations at the Portuguese Ministry for Economy and Innovation: so far, the first findings show us that the cases that we detected in Portugal lacked information about total costs for consumer credit and often even the geographical address of the trader. The majority of cases related to the missing of standard information in the advertising are amongst the major important requirements brought by the consumer credit directive. 00:00:29
10:02:42 Cutaway of the audience 00:00:05
10:02:48 Soundbite (in ENGLISH) by Teresa Moreira: this is obviously very important for consumers to have the notion of the overall costs of consumer credit. We will now contact the economical operators and ask them to clarify the issues that were flagged and if needed to correct their websites. In case this doesn't happen, legal actions may be taken against these companies. 00:00:22
10:03:10 Speakers leaving the press room 00:00:05
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