Green Paper on retail financial services: better products, more choice, and greater opportunities for consumers and businesses – 10.12.2015
The objective of the Green Paper is to consult on the next steps toward creating a more integrated European market for retail financial services for both consumers and businesses. Retail finance in the EU should work in the interests of consumers and give them the best deals, better products, more choice, and greater opportunities regardless of their age, skills and country of residence. It should also be easier for financial firms to do business across Europe where unnecessary barriers do not constrain the provision of services, including by digital means, and where physical establishment is not essential.
Therefore, the Green Paper aims to stimulate a debate at EU and national level by involving all potentially interested stakeholders, such as individual consumers, consumers associations, industry organisations, financial firms, including small and innovative providers, as well as public authorities and international organisations. The consultation results should let us better understand what can be done to achieve a safe, well-functioning and competitive European market in retail financial services.
The Commission envisages publishing an Action Plan on Retail Financial Services to follow up the consultation around summer 2016.
Conference on emerging challenges in retail finance and consumer policy – 18.11.2014
On 18 November 2014, the European Commission organised a conference on “Emerging challenges in retail finance and consumer policy” which gathered more than 200 consumers’ representatives, financial industry professionals, policy makers and academics from across Europe. The European Commission will duly analyse the findings of the conference and may propose a follow-up initiative in the course of 2015.
Special Eurobarometer on retail financial services
This Eurobarometer survey examines public opinion in the area of retail financial services (bank accounts, mortgage credit, consumer credit, stocks/bonds/shares, investment funds, insurance and payments). The survey covered 26 856 EU citizens in all 27 EU Member States. It analyses the way in which retail financial services are perceived at the EU level and within individual Member States. It also provides cross-country comparisons and socio-demographic analysis to help understand how different sections of society perceive and use retail financial services. The results show large differences in the financial products and services held by European consumers. Moreover, European consumers are extremely immobile when it comes to financial services; many fail to shop around for financial products and the majority have not switched providers for existing products. Given the level of domestic immobility, it is not surprising that levels of direct cross-border activity also remain low.
Review of policy for retail financial services
The Commission has engaged in a comprehensive review of the single market to ensure that its policies are fit for the 21st century. Retail financial services represent an important part of this review. Alongside the Communication on a single market for 21st century Europe, the Commission has published a Staff Working Document on its initiatives in the area of retail financial services.
Building on the Commission’s strategy for retail financial services outlined in the Green Paper on Retail Financial Services and taking into account the issues identified in the wealth of contributions received, the document identifies several areas where work should be undertaken to improve the competitiveness and efficiency of European retail financial services markets.
Commission staff working paper on initiatives in the area of retail financial services
Green Paper on retail financial services in the single market
|2.5.2007||Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market, COM(2007)226|
Public hearing on retail financial services
|26.11.2007||Report of the public hearing|
|Hearing documents (speeches, presentations, etc.)|
|Welcome address||Jörgen Holmquist|
|European Parliament||Ieke van den Burg|
|Debate 1: Empowering European consumers||Eddy Wymeersch|
|Debate 2: Enhancing consumer confidence||Isabel Mendes Cabeçadas
|European Commission||Meglena Kuneva|
|European Parliament||Arlene McCarthy|
|Debate 3: Price, quality and choice for consumers||Surd Kováts
|Closing address||Charlie McCreevy, SPEECH/07/548|