The European Commission has published a study on consumer financial services identifying obstacles that consumers continue to face in the EU when buying investment funds, investment-driven life insurance or private pension.
By pointing to the remaining impediments, the study illustrates the role of EU legislation, such as MIFID II, PRIIPS and the Insurance Distribution Directive, which have recently entered into application as of this year or will soon apply.
Specifically, the study finds that while consumers have access to a large and diverse range of products, they face challenges in collecting and comparing information across the board. It also notes that costs for similar products continue to be very different across Member States. The wide-ranging study also shows that seeking advice from non-independent advisors, such as banks and insurers, remains the norm for the average European investor. Lastly, the study underlined that the potential for new distribution models based on FinTech is promising but must be monitored carefully.
In this context - and as part of its FinTech Action Plan - the Commission will examine the current landscape of digital interfaces that help individuals find suitable and cost-effective retail investment products across the EU's capital markets.
The Commission will organise a public hearing on 29 June 2018 to exchange views on how to further improve the situation. This study follows previous Commission initiatives, such as its 2015 Green Paper as well as its 2017 Action Plan on Consumer Financial Services.
It is part of the Commission's Capital Markets Union (CMU) Action Plan.