On 23 March, MEPs Isabel Benjumea and Stéphanie Yon-Courtin addressed the Global Money Week webinar on "Investor Education in times of High Inflation, Financial Repression & Market Volatility" jointly organised by BETTER FINANCE and EFAMA. Please find their respective full speeches below.
Isabel Benjumea: "Investor education is a key tool for the completion of the long-desired Capital Markets Union in Europe. Retail investors play a key role in strengthening this Union and their participation in the market is indispensable. The lack of retail investor initiative is based on fears, mistrust, and insecurities about the market. This is due, in a large majority of cases, to a lack of training and knowledge about the functioning of the capital and investment market."
Stéphanie Yon-Courtin: "The first question we should ask ourselves is: why do consumers prefer saving rather than investing? Understanding how to break this cycle will be the first step for regulators to move forward. The drivers and incentives for saving are quite varied.
Saving for retirement, for example, is more of a one-off decision for citizens, and very dependent on national incentives - taxation in most part. It signals that citizens are mostly confident that public pensions will be appropriate. But it also most importantly outlines that they are not exploiting the potential of what investing this money could bring to them in the future. The upcoming Retail Investment Strategy precisely aims to address this. Our discussion comes therefore very timely. Many have high hopes for this piece of legislation, including me. However, will it be up to the task?
The inducement debate should not overshadow other fundamental topics that need to be addressed in the frame of this strategy. A particular emphasis should be put on facilitating access to financial markets, reducing red tape, better regulating investment advice, and most importantly, emphasise the urgent need to promote financial literacy."