||European Commission's FSUG publishes a report and its own position on Financial Guidance for European Consumers
In 2016, the iff was part of a research team lead by the Observatoire de l'Epargne Européenne (OEE) together with PFRC, Nibud and others which conducted a study into Financial Guidance for the European Commission’s Financial Services User Group (FSUG). The Commission has now published the report alongside the FSUG’s own position paper including its recommendations based on... [more...]
||UK Competition and Markets Authority orders banks to digitalise and begin "open banking" by early 2018 but misses a major opportunity to force them to change their behaviour as watchdog...
The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), tells British banks that they must digitalise. The CMA has spent the past two years (and GBP 5bn) investigating the banking industry. Its final report of the market investigation into Retail Banking, published this week reveals plans and implementation dates in 2017 and 2018. In its report Making banks work harder for you,... [more...]
||European Commission and Stakeholder Key principles for consumer comparison tools published
Key principles for comparison tools Consumers face an abundance of information online and thus rely on shortcuts such as comparison tools in their decision-making process. These can bring transparency to the markets and the possibility to compare products/services to find better deals are useful. However, transparency and trustworthiness of the service to consumers (and... [more...]
||EIOPA consults on the presentation format of the Insurance Product Information Document
EIOPA published today a Consultation Paper on draft Implementing Technical Standards (ITS) standardising the presentation format of the Insurance Product Information Document (IPID). The IPID will be provided to the customer prior to the conclusion of a non-life insurance contract in accordance with the provisions of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). The purpose... [more...]
||Australia: ASIC Releases Guidance for P2P lending market. The information sheet is an example of how regulators can help innovative start-ups understand the regulatory framework they...
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) today announced the release of an information sheet, containing guidance and best practices to be followed by Australian peer-to-peer lenders. The regulator revealed that a number of marketplace lending entities were consulted in preparing the document. The information sheet describes what peer-to-peer lending is... [more...]
||Financial Advice to consumers: Some recent work on the subject from the UK
Here below are some links that may of interest to those trying to understand changes and deliberations in the UK and the provision of advice there.   Link to research on the Advice Gap in the UK http://www.fs-cp.org.uk/working_for_consumers/what_we_are_doing/advice_gap.shtml Link to research on Simple Products in the UK... [more...]
||Behavioural Economics and Policymaking: A paper has been published by Pete Lunn which explains the usefulnes and limitations of reliance of BE for policy making, including for financial...
"Behavioural Economics and Policymaking: Learning from the Early Adopters" Author(s): Lunn, Pete Source: The Economic and Social Review, Vol 43, No 3, Autumn 2012, pp. 423–449 Publisher: Economic and Social Studies Place of Publication: Dublin Publication Date: 27/09/12 Downloads: Download PDF Abstract This paper critically examines initial applications of Behavioural... [more...]
||Lauch of the ConFinAd Consumer Financial Advice project by DG SANCO at the Hearing at IMCO on Financial Advice Provided by Non-Profit Entities to Consumers
ECRC partner iff has teamed up together with BEUC (the European Consumers Organisation) to develop and run training courses for non-profit consumer advisers giving information, guidance and non-recommendation advice to consumers. The IMCO (Consumer Protection) and ECON committees of the European Parliament held a public event to hear the views of the providers and... [more...]
||ECRC partner iff publishes a report for the German Finance Ministry and suggests a standardised key information sheet for state-sponsored financial investment products
Please find the link below to the press release of the German Federal Ministry of Finance on product information sheets for consumers of old-age pension savings and investments. The study and designed sheets are available in German at the link, and a short summary of the work led by iff and others is available in English as an attachment below. [more...]
||Consumer protection initiatives in the EU: Study evaluates the past European Commission policies with regard to consumers.
DG SANCO along with several other DGs have been running significant programmes to promote consumer protection and empowerment. The results of the evaluation are not the same and DOLCETA comes out badly as a value for money project in the best interests of consumers, whereas TRACE courses for capacity building in national consumer organisations is evaluated more favourably... [more...]
||German press fights consumer information
While iff's long-term database on consumer information through law and newspaper articles, once sponsored by the EU-Commission as an outstanding example of consumer information about malpractice in financial services, is now under the attack of the German newspapers F.A.Z. and Süddeutsche Zeitung, the public discussion whether the press itself retains the monopoly of... [more...]
||Aggressive marketing of loans leads to higher debts: Finish Report shows
Press release, 04/07/2011 Aggressive marketing of loans leads to higher debts According to the financial and debt counsellors responding to a survey conducted by the Finnish Consumer Agency, intensive marketing of loans has led to higher indebtedness among Finnish consumers. Furthermore, Finnish lenders do not make a thorough check on the credit applicants’ financial... [more...]
||EU retail investor protection – Discussed at an industry-dominated conference
ECRC attended the opening sessions of the Eurofi Financial Forum 2010 in Brussels on 28 September 2010. Below are some comments from these sessions. Monique Goyens from BEUC was the only speaker from among the many experts invited that represented the consumer/ user perspective on retail investments. Below are some views expressed by the speakers and some additional... [more...]
||Behavioural economics - Insights on consumer behaviour may be useful but they should not become a new ideology!
New ideology? We have seen the ideological ferver which certain movements can take. There is a real danger that this trendy new area of economic thinking will become the fantastic new magic bullit for solving consumer problems in the area of financial services. Like the ideologies of financial literacy and microlending before it, there is a significant risk that public... [more...]
||NETHERLANDS – ECRC partner NIBUD informs the coalition about new findings on shortfalls in information disclosure to consumers of investment products.
Yesterday 18th of February 2010, the Financial Market Authority (AFM) issued some reports about the information of pension funds towards their customers. On this page, http://www.afm.nl/marktpartijen/default.ashx?documentid=13254, you find 3 downloadable reports below “zie ook” on the right side. The first one is about old-age pensions, where consumers are allowed/obliged... [more...]
||CONSUMER INFORMATION OVERLOAD - "Warning: too much information can harm". How to ensure information is used where it can make a difference? How to help consumers make choices, while...
Below some extracts from the final booklet (Nov 2007) and a link to the UK Government Business department website and the booklet. It mentions the need for national stakeholders (English in this case, but it applies to all other nationals) to get involved in international dialogue with its European peers in order to make a real difference in the area of consumer... [more...]
||Comment on Gibbons and Schwartz by Bob Schmitz
Gibbons and Schwartz have suggested that EU Member States establish a 10-day waiting or reflection period that would begin after borrowers receive a binding offer from a lender. During this waiting period, the money borrowed could not be used unless the consumer made an explicit decision to get the money earlier. This right would complement the 14-day cooling-off period... [more...]
||Vulnerable Consumer Groups:
OFFICE OF FAIR TRADING RESEARCH PAPERS I Market definition in UK competition policy by National Economic Research Association - Februarv 1992 2 Barriers to entry and exit in UK competition policy by London Economics - March 1994 3 Packaged mortgages results of consumer surveys carried out by Research Surveys of Great Britain - June 1994 4 Consumers' appreciation of... [more...]