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7th International Conference on Financial Services
„Regulation, Education and Cooperation in Financial Services“
Brussels September 14th and 15th 2007

Conference Flyer: pdf file(click here)

Programme: pdf file(click here)

The European Coalition for Responsible Credit, a network of NGO’s from the different EU Member States with its secretariat run from Hamburg, alongside the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) based in Washington DC and the institute for financial services (iff) in Germany, is jointly organizing the next stakeholder dialogue in the area of financial services which will constitute the 7th International Conference on Financial Services.



Registration and Coffee
Introductory Statements on “Responsible Financial Services”
10:00 - 10:15
P1a: Opening Address: Dr José Ribeiro (Directorate General for Consumer Affairs Portugal - Acting Presidency of the EU); Beatrice Patrie (European Parliament, IMCO)*; Jim Murray (BEUC)
10:15 – 10:30
P1b: Keynote Address: "Poverty in the Credit Society" Gregory Squires (George Washington University, USA)
NGO Action for Responsible Financial Services
10:30 – 11:00
P2a: Two years of a Global Coalition: Udo Reifner (ECRC, Germany) and John Taylor (NCRC, USA)
11:00 – 11:45
P2b: Reports from the National Conferences and Domestic Discussions
Edinburgh: Damon Gibbons, DOOD (UK); Helsinki: Anja Peltonen, kuluttajavirasto (Finland); Capetown: Chris Osborn, you & your money (RSA); Trento: Paolo Landi, Adiconsum (Italy); Bern: Mario Roncoroni, Verein Schuldensanierung (Switzerland); Paris: Emmanuel Masset-Denèvre, INC (France)
11:45 – 13:00
P2c: Comments and Additional Information from other Countries
Kiyohito Wada, Kohjimachi Citizen Law Office (Japan); Leonardo Bessa, Brazilcon (Brazil); Lee Beaulac, Rural Opportunities (USA); Werner Sanio, BAG SB (Germany); Melina Mouzouraki, EKPIZO (Greece); Paul Joyce, Free Legal Advice Centres (Ireland); Juan José Manchado Martín, ADICAE (Spain); Harro Norder, NVVK (Netherlands); Graca Oliveira, DECO (Portugal); Bob Schmitz, ULC (Luxemburg); Hans W.Grohs, ASB Schuldnerberatungen/ECDN (Austria); Bernard Bayot, RFA (Belgium); Davida Lachman-Messer (Israel) et al.
[This session will have country representatives seated like in a Parliamentary hearing. A podium moderator will initiate the debate and conduct questioning to which the wider conference audience will participate through the use of electronic voting devices]
13:00 - 14:00
E1: Lunch
(Open area in foyer for organisational exhibits)
“OVERINDEBTEDNESS”: Focusing on Credit Market Imperfections (in cooperation with European Consumer Debt Net)
14:00 - 15:15
W1: Trends in Overindebtedness: Personal Bankruptcy or Rehabilitation?
Iain Ramsay (IACL, Canada, Chair); George Gloukoviezoff (Université Lyon2, France); Werner Sanio (SFZ-Mainz/BAG SB, Germany); Chris Osborn (you & your money, Rep. of South Africa); Hans Grohs (ASB Schuldnerberatungen/ECDN, Austria); Harro Norder (NVVK, Netherlands); Catarina Frade (University of Coimbra, Portugal)

W2: Credit Card Credit: American Overindebtedness a European Future?
Achim Tiffe (iff, Chair); Damon Gibbons (DOOD, UK); Paolo Landi (Adiconsum, Italy); Manfred Westphal (vzbv, Germany)
15:15 – 15:30
Coffee Break
“EDUCATION” and “DISCRIMINATION”: Focusing on Credit Market Participants
15:30 - 16:45
W3: Banks at School – Can Consumers be Educated?
Saul Schwartz (Carleton University, Canada, Chair); Dara Duguay (Citi); Anne Schelhowe (SchülerBanking, Germany); Peter Avery (OECD); Erik Pointilliart (IEFP, France); Lauren Willis (Loyola Law School, USA); Toni Williams (Kent Law School, UK)

W4: Scoring and Social Discrimination in Credit Contracts
Melina Mouzouraki (EKPIZO, Greece, Chair); Mike Bradford (Experian); George Wilkinson (Eurofinas/GWA); Hubert Van Tol (NCRC, USA); Frédéric Rottier (Observatoire du Crédit et de l'Endettement, Belgium); Joop Lobstein (BKR, Netherlands)
16:45 – 18:00
W5: Credit for the Poor? Microlending or Bank loans
Benoit Granger (MicFin, Chair), Leo Verhoef (Eindhoven University) and Bernd Balkenhol (ILO) ask critical questions to Pierre Silvy (ADIE), Karol Sachs (FEBEA), Antoine Saint-Denis (EU DG Empl.), Pete Garcia (Chicanos Por La Causa, USA), and Gregory Squires (George Washington University, USA)

W6: Payment Protection Insurance, Non-Performing Loans and Default Charges
Damon Gibbons (DOOD, UK, Chair); Odile Leturcq (UFC-Que Choisir, France); Arno Gottschalk (German Consumer Ass.); Eva Grunwald (Deutsche Bank); Torsten Knapp (Citi Germany); Diana Cerini (Milan University); Kai-Oliver Knops (University of Bremen)
19:00 – 24:00
E2: Conference Dinner and Music at the Albert Hall Conference venue
"REGULATION": Law and Principles
9:00 - 10:30
P3: Round Table on EU Consumer Credit & Payments Directives: How will the New Regulation be Implemented and Discussed in the Member States?
Udo Reifner (iff, Germany, Chair); Jorge Pegado-Liz (European Economic & Social Committee); Judith Wittig (Deutsche Bank); Manfred Westphal (BEUC, vzbv, FinUse); Bob Schmitz (ULC, Luxemburg); Eric Ducoulombier (EU-Commission, DG Market); Angelika Schlögel (Government Austria); Beatrice Patrie, (European Parliament, IMCO)*
10:30 – 10:45
Coffee Break
10:45 – 11:30
P4: Principles of Responsible Credit – Why and What?
Damon Gibbons (DOOD/ECRC, Chair); John Taylor (NCRC); Guy Schellinck (Citi Belgium); Judith Wittig (Deutsche Bank); Lisa Dickinson (GE Money); Craig Norton (HBOS); David Dolidze (Council of Europe)
11:30 – 13:00
W7-W9: ECRC Principles of Responsible Credit(in Breakaway groups)
W7: Principles P1 – P3 (Lending) (led by Benoit Granger)
W8: Principles P4 – P5 (Adaptation, Legislation) (led by Udo Reifner)
W9: Principles P6 – P7 [Overindebtedness, Advice] (led by Saul Schwartz)
(The groups have to elaborate statements, examples, applications for its future use)
13:00 - 14:00
14:00 - 15:15
P5: Do we need Public (Interest) Banks? Which types of banks can best serve the community: Private, Public or Cooperative Banks?
(Community Re-investment, Basic banking, and alternative Finance with final voting on predefined questions)
Harro Norder (NVVK, Netherlands, Chair); Maryellen Lewis (NCRC); Bob Schmitz (ULC, Luxemburg); Anja Peltonen (kuluttajavirasto, Finland); Benoit Granger (MicFin, France); Judith Wittig (Deutsche Bank); Norma Benoni (Cassa Rurali Trentine); Davida Lachman-Messer (Ministry of Justice, Israel)
15:15 – 16:00
P6: Vote on the Future Activity of the CRC-NETWORK:
Presentation of Plans from the Steering Committee and Electronic Voting
End of Conference

Under the motto of „Regulation, Education and Cooperation in Financial Services“, the two-day event is being prepared by national conferences all over Europe and elsewhere (such as South Africa) with coalition partners undertaking efforts to gather all Stakeholders in Credit for consumers and small businesses in order to discuss and develop ideas for fair finance and responsible credit.

A whole range of issues predominantly related to consumer credit including the more problematic aspects of private over-indebtedness and predatory lending are on the agenda, as well as detailed discussions on the European legislative efforts to date. Providers of financial services, consumer associations, debt advisors, social and economic scientists and policy makers will be gathering together to exchange views with one another within the confounds of the Albert Hall Complex in Brussels.

Over 70 Speakers from Europe and North America will share their knowledge, experience and ideas at what is intended to be a tri-lingual conference, which is aiming to attract at least the same level of participation as it did last time round in 2006 i.e. over 150 experts from 30 countries coming from 4 continents.

The great opportunity for broad stakeholder dialogue which this conference represents is not to be underestimated, as the event has proven to be the only real place where the market and the greater public can see providers and users of financial services learning to communicate with each other about the respective responsibilities for a sustainable future.

The Conference preparations are currently underway, with a DRAFT programme outline for discussions (within the 6 plenaries and nine workshop sessions planned) available below. This programme will be regularly updated in the coming months and finalised as September draws nearer.

We encourage all interested parties, including all those having participated in their domestically held events, to sign up as soon as possible in order to be part of the challenge of evaluating better practice and suggesting alternative solutions towards enabling a fairer access and use of financial services.

  • Should you want to take part in the conference, please use the registration form.
  • Should you want to support the conference, or a specific element of it such as the evening reception for example, please call us at +49 40309 691-24. We will gladly provide you with an offer.


  • Inform about responsible lending practices in Europe
  • Discuss legislative efforts at EU, US and national levels
  • Promote co-operation between Social Organisations in Europe and America
  • Facilitate communication between Banks and NGOs
  • Raise consciousness on predatory lending practices and over-indebtedness
  • Strengthen the capabilities of the European Coalition for Responsible Credit (ECRC)

Created: 18/12/07. Last changed: 08/01/08.
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