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Packaged Retail Investment Products

The retail investment market is largely dominated by “packaged retail investment products”. These provide retail investors with easy access to financial markets, but can be complex for investors to understand. Those selling these products can also face conflicts of interest since they are often remunerated by the product manufacturers rather than directly by the retail investors.

A complex patchwork of regulation has grown up to address these risks, and inconsistencies and gaps in the patchwork have raised concerns as to the overall effectiveness of the regulatory regime, both in relation to its capacity to protect investors and its ability to ensure the markets work efficiently. These concerns have been further heightened by the impact of the financial crisis.

The Commission sent a mandate to EIOPA - 30.07.2014

The Commission sent a mandate to EIOPA for advice on possible delegated acts concerning the upcoming Regulation on Key Information Documents for Packaged Retail and Insurance-Based Investment Products (PRIIPS).

Proposal for a regulation on a new Key Information Document for investment products – 03.07.2012

On 3 July 2012 the Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation for a new Key Information Document (KID) to be produced by investment product manufacturers and provided to retail customers when they are considering buying investment products.

Consultation on legislative steps for the Packaged Retail Investment Products (PRIPs) initiative – 26.11.2010

The consultation seeks feedback from stakeholders on the next steps to be taken in improving the European regulation of the retail investment market. The closing date for responses is the 31st January 2011. Responses will aid the Commission services in fine-tuning legislative proposals. All citizens, public authorities and organisations are welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Study on the costs and benefits of potential changes to distribution rules for insurance investment products and other non-MIFID PRIPs

This study examines the possible impact of applying rules similar to those in MiFID (on conflicts of interest and conduct of business) to sales of PRIPs that aren't currently covered by MiFID. The study concentrates on impacts for the industry, focusing on clarifying better the drivers of costs. Separate work is being undertaken by the Commission services on impacts of change for retail investors, which will form a central part of the impact assessment that will accompany any future proposals.

Update on Commission work on Packaged Retail Investment Products (PRIPs)

The Commission services provide an update on the on-going work on PRIPs and further detail on how the commitments made in the 30th April Communication on PRIPs will be taken forward.

Technical Workshop on Packaged Retail Investment Products, 22 October 2009

The Commission hosted a technical workshop on 22 October 2009 with industry experts and consumer representatives. The Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) and the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) were also present in an observer capacity. The workshop was an opportunity for participants to provide technical input to the ongoing legislative work on Packaged Retail Investment Products, which follows the publication of the Commission Communication in April.

An issues paperpdf Choose translations of the previous link  was produced to structure the workshop discussion.

Communication from the Commission on Packaged Retail Investment Products

The Communication explains the Commission's view that the current regulatory framework at the European level needs updating and proposes introducing new legislation focused on two main areas – product disclosure and selling processes. The aim is to create consistency in approach for all different Packaged Retail Investment Products, so as to help to ensure consumers always receive the right information and treatment. The financial crisis has underscored the need for a regulatory environment which provides a sound basis for informed decision making, and where investors can be confident about the information and services they receive.

By the end of 2009 we will provide a more detailed orientation on the shape of the legislative proposals.

Open Hearing on Retail Investment Products – Brussels, 15th July, 2008

The Commission organised an Open Hearing on Retail Investment Products, in Brussels on 15th July. The hearing brought together senior policy makers, industry experts and consumer representatives to discuss a topic that has attracted increasing political attention in recent months, namely the evolving market for retail investment products and whether the current fragmented regulatory framework provides a sound basis for ensuring that investors receive the information and the quality of service they need to make appropriate investment decisions.

The Hearing was opened by Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Charlie McCreevy; and addressed by Othmar Karas MEP, rapporteur for the European Parliament report on the Green Paper on Retail Financial Services; Theodor Kockelkoren. Member of the Executive Board, Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets; and Thierry Franq of the French Treasury, who provided perspectives from the incoming French Presidency of the EU Council .

Industry workshop on retail investment products

DG MARKT Services hosted an industry workshop on 22nd May 2008 to discuss the results of the Call for Evidence on Retail Investment Products. The workshop brought together industry experts representing the fund management, banking, insurance, securities and distribution sectors, alongside observers from FIN-USE, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS), the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR) and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS).

"Substitute" retail investment products

The primary purpose of the call for evidence was to establish whether there is a real and significant risk to investor protection resulting from variations in EU rules on product disclosure and distribution for different types of retail investment product. The call for evidence was closed at the end of January 2008; a total of 80 written contributions were received. The Commission has prepared a feedback statement providing a high-level synthesis of these contributions.

A public hearing will be held on the 15th July 2008 in Brussels to bring together key stakeholders to discuss the issues raised in the call for evidence.

The Commission will release in autumn 2008 a Communication on whether there is significant evidence of investor detriment and whether there is a need for further work in this area.