In the context of the mid-term review of the capital markets union action plan, the European Commission organised a roundtable on fostering retail investment in capital markets.
This roundtable brought together more than 45 representatives of retail investors, national and EU supervisors, the industry and other interested market participants. It allowed the Commission to get targeted input on specific questions to inform its reflection on the review of the CMU action plan.
Session I – Supply of investment solutions to retail investors across Europe
The first session explored whether the current supply of investment solutions meets retail investors' needs across the European Union. Do retail investors have easy access to the investment products that best meet their needs? Should the European Commission support the creation of new retail investment products or vehicles? What are the best practices adopted at national level to guide the supply of retail investment products?
- Keynote presentation: Daniel Godfrey, Co-Founder, The People’s Trust
- Focus on two specific investment solutions:
- Investment Saving Account: Gunnar Ek, CEO, Aktiespararna
- Employee Share Ownership: Marc Mathieu, Secretary General, EFES - European Federation of Employee Share Ownership
Session II – Cost / performance transparency in retail investment
Retail investors lack a comprehensive picture of the financial performance of capital markets and of the different categories of investment products. This second session discussed the informational mechanisms that could be put in place to increase retail investors' understanding of the net performance of the main families of retail investment products across the European Union and the impact of the costs and charges on this performance.
- Keynote presentation: Guillaume Prache, Managing Director, Better Finance
- Recent research outcome:
- AMF - Autorité des marchés financiers (France): Vanessa Casano, Deputy Director of the Asset management Regulation Division
- FCA - Financial Conduct Authority (UK): Robin Finer, Head of Wholesale & Investments Competition and Gordon Cookson, Economist, Competition Division
Session III – Innovation for retail investment
The third session of the roundtable was dedicated to the innovation for retail investment. The development of online distribution and the emergence of new distribution models developed by FinTech companies such as funds supermarkets and comparators could have a disruptive effect on the way retail investment products are distributed. Automated advice is developing, targeting investors who need help with simple investment choices, but who cannot afford the costs of face-to-face advice. These advances in technology present opportunities, for example, the potential to facilitate consumers' access to a wide range of investment products on cost-effective terms, but also give rise to challenges in terms of investor protection that should be closely followed up.