Consumer Protection and the EU

Dept 35 - Financial Markets II Department
Dept 35 - Financial Markets II Department

Published

  • EU
  • Consumer Protection

Financial Education - EU

Communication on Financial Education

On Dec 18 2007, the Commission adopted a Communication on Financial Education (.PDF, 85 kB). This Communication underlines the Commission's support for the provision of financial education delivered as close as possible to the citizens that need it, namely through Member State, national and regional authorities, non-governmental agencies and the financial services sector.

It sets out the economic, societal and personal benefits of increased financial literacy and gives an overview of the provision of financial education in the EU. The Communication presents some basic principles to guide providers of financial education, based on existing best practices.

It also announces some future initiatives in this area. These initiatives range from the publication of an online reference database of financial education programmes and research to an enhancement of the existing Dolceta online education tool to help teachers to incorporate financial matters into the school curriculum.

Source: EUROPEAN COMMISSION - Internal Market and Services DG, Financial services policy: Communication from the Commission on Financial Education, published  September 2007, for download in PDf format

The Expert Group on Financial Education (EGFE)

The group is composed of financial education practitioners and aims to promote exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices. The group also advises the Commission on its policy-making in the area of financial education.

Retail Financial Services

The Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market

The Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market (.PDF, 194 kB)sets out the vision of the European Commission for future EU policy on retail financial services, which are financial products such as bank accounts, loans, mortgages, investments and insurance provided to individual consumers. The Green Paper aims to strengthen and deepen the Commission's understanding of the problems faced by consumers and industry in this area, to set out the Commission's overarching objectives and to highlight areas where more work may be needed.

The Commission seeks to develop integration in retail financial services markets in three main ways:

  1. First, the provision of products that meet consumers' needs, offering choice, value and quality, can be ensured through properly regulated open markets and strong competition.
  2. Second, European consumers need confidence to make the right choices. This can be achieved by ensuring that consumers are properly protected where appropriate, and that providers are financially sound and trustworthy.
  3. Third, consumer confidence in seeking out the best deals to meet their needs, regardless of the location of the financial services provider, can be promoted by empowering consumers to make the right decisions for their financial circumstances. Empowerment can be developed through financial literacy, clear, appropriate and timely information provision, high-quality advice and a level playing field between products perceived as having similar characteristics.

 

Source: MOF - Financial Market Analyses and Development Department, Consumer Protection Unit  - 273, Response of the Ministry of Finance to the Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market, published January 2008, for download in Pdf format, english version

Source: EU - COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES : The Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market , published April 2007, for download in PDF format

Substitute retail investment products - Call for evidence on substitute investment products

The European Commission has published a call for evidence (.PDF, 344 kB) on the impact of the fragmented regulatory landscape for retail investment products on the protection of retail investors.

The main purpose of this call for evidence is to establish whether this fragmented regulatory landscape leads to unacceptably large variation in the level of product disclosure and in conduct of business rules, resulting in a real and significant risk to investor protection.

Source: MoF - Financial Market Analyses and Development Department, Consumer Protection Unit  - 273, Ministry of Finance response to the European Commission Call for evidence, published January 2008, for download in Pdf format, english version

Source: European Commission : Call for evidence (EC), published October 2007, for download in Pdf format

Mortgage Credit

The Green Paper: Mortgage credit in the EU

On 19 July 2005 the European Commission published the Green Paper: Mortgage credit in the EU (.PDF, 206 kB). It examines the case for Commission action in EU mortgage credit market. The Green Paper looks at whether and how Commission action to develop the Internal Market in mortgages could provide concrete benefits for EU consumers.

Source: MoF - Financial Market Analyses and Development Department, Consumer Protection Unit  - 273, Czech comments on Green Paper – Mortgage credit, published November 2005, for download in Pdf format, english version

Source: European Commission -  The Green Paper: Mortgage credit in the EU, published July 2005, for download in Pdf format

The White Paper on the Integration of EU Mortgage Credit Markets

The White Paper (.PDF, 173 kB) summarises the conclusions of a comprehensive review of European residential mortgage markets and presents a balanced 'package' of measures to improve the efficiency and the competitiveness of these markets, to the benefit of consumers, mortgage lenders and investors alike. This is to be achieved in particular through improvement in the areas of cross-border supply, product diversity, consumer empowerment and customer mobility.
 
Non-legislative solutions are announced in particular in the field of land registration, property valuation, and forced sales procedures. The Commission does not rule out proposing future legislative measures if they are deemed necessary. However, until a rigorous impact assessment, including a quantitative cost-benefit analysis, has been undertaken and further consultation with all stakeholders have been concluded, the Commission considers that it would be premature to decide on whether a legislative approach would at this stage deliver the necessary value added.

 

Source: MoF - Financial Market Analyses and Development Department, Consumer Protection Unit  - 273, General position of the Czech Republic on the White Paper on the Integration of EU Mortgage Credit Markets, published October 2008, for download in Pdf format, english version

Source: COMMISSION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES : The White Paper on the Integration of EU Mortgage Credit Markets , published December 2007, for download in Pdf format