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25/04/2018
 

The EC Study on Retail Investment Products Confirms a Dire Need for Simple Investment Products, More Transparency on Performance and Costs and Independent Comparison Tools


BETTER FINANCE thanks the EC for releasing this long awaited but very necessary study on the main source of funding of the EU economy, which for this reason has also been identified as a top priority of the “Capital Markets Union” Initiative of the EU. The study draws a grim picture detailing the obstacles retail investors face when seeking financial advice or wanting to buy an investment product.

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BETTER FINANCE
BETTER FINANCE
 
 
 
 
 
18/04/2018
 

SHAREHOLDERS RIGHTS DIRECTIVE IMPLEMENTING ACTS LAST CHANCE TO ENSURE RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDERS TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT


Over the last few years, the European Union (EU) has been trying to facilitate the exercise of shareholders’ rights by updating the Shareholder Rights Directive (SRD II). The revised Directive itself unfortunately only provided limited improvements to shareholders rights as important barriers to cross-border shareholder engagement within the EU remain in place.

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BETTER FINANCE
BETTER FINANCE
 
 
 
 
 
17/04/2018
 

‘NEW DEAL FOR CONSUMERS’ – AN IMPORTANT BREAKTHROUGH FOR MANY FINANCIAL SERVICES USERS BUT NOT FOR EU CITIZENS AS INDIVIDUAL SHAREHOLDERS


Many financial services providers already operate across borders in different Member States. Like for other sectors, the case for EU-wide collective redress for financial services is clear and in the interest of EU citizens as retail investors and pension savers. Over the years there have been numerous mis-selling scandals in the financial services industry that have harmed individual investors. In many of these cases the lack of collective redress mechanisms prevented victims from seeking compensation for losses and damages suffered.

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BETTER FINANCE
BETTER FINANCE
 
 
 
 
 
21/03/2018
 

BETTER FINANCE WELCOMES THE SUSTAINABLE FINANCE ACTION PLAN BUT WARNS THE COMMISSION AGAINST ITS PLANS REGARDING TAXONOMY, BENCHMARKING AND AN ECO-LABEL


As pointed out at several occasions by BETTER FINANCE , EU citizens as savers are by nature mostly long-term driven, evidenced by the fact that 67% of their total assets are deployed in long-term investments (versus only 37% for pension funds - despite their purely long-term horizon - and 10% or less for insurers), and their main saving goals are long-term (retirement, housing, children’s studies, transmission of wealth, etc.). For these reasons EU citizens as savers have a great need for “sustainable finance” products. Therefore, BETTER FINANCE strongly supports Actions 4 and 7 which should ensure that sustainability preferences of long-term and pension savers are taken into account in the suitability assessment.

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BETTER FINANCE
BETTER FINANCE
 
 
 
 
 
05/03/2018
 

UK CLOSET INDEXERS TO INDEMNIFY FUND INVESTORS ALMOST FOUR YEARS AFTER BETTER FINANCE ASKED THE EUROPEAN SUPERVISOR TO INVESTIGATE THE ISSUE


Good news at last for some investors caught in “closet index” funds: fund managers will indemnify investors from 64 UK domiciled funds for £ 32 million following the UK financial supervisor’s investigation. Closet index funds are funds that claim to be actively managed, and charge “active” management fees, but closely track the market indices (before fees), more or less like index funds (that charge much lower fees). In 2014, BETTER FINANCE asked the European supervisor for a Europe-wide investigation of the closet indexing problem after the Danish financial supervisor raised this issue locally.

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BETTER FINANCE
BETTER FINANCE
 
 
 
 
 
05/02/2018
 

WILLINGNESS OF EU MEMBER STATES CRUCIAL FOR ENDING DOUBLE TAXATION OF INVESTMENT INCOME WITHIN THE EU


Guillaume Prache, Managing Director of BETTER FINANCE, was invited to address the European Commission’s (EC) ‘Public Hearing on a simpler Withholding Tax procedure for Europe’. The EC just released a Code of Conduct on withholding tax aimed at improving the refund and/or relief at source of current withholding taxes (WHT) charged by Member States within the European Union. At the hearing all participants, public and private, agreed that the success factor to transform this Code of Conduct into reality is the willingness of Member States to implement this non-binding document.

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BETTER FINANCE
BETTER FINANCE
 
 
 
 
 

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