Date: 21st March 2019

BETTER FINANCE asks EU Politicians about their Key Priorities for the Next Five Years

Press Release – Next May nearly 450 million Europeans across the EU will be called to vote in the European parliamentary elections. The European Union faces many challenges on multiple fronts and it’s important to ensure that European savers and investors are not relegated to the background.

BETTER FINANCE encourages the newly elected members of European Parliament to refocus on financial reform. Years of zero or negative real interest rates have impoverished long-term and pension savers and accelerated the ticking of the pensions time bomb. Post Brexit, the European Union must reboot the Capital Markets Union. Much-needed capital is currently lingering in savings accounts and other value-destroying products. This huge potential can only be unlocked if Europe’s savers are better protected against mis-selling, have access to simpler and more transparent products and ultimately obtain better returns. These are the necessary ingredients for trust.

In addition, Europe needs to face up to the climate challenge to ensure the survival of human beings on this Planet. The financial industry must take its responsibility and play an active role in ensuring that our savings and pension rights are invested in an environmentally and socially responsible way.

It is more important than ever that the European Union is adequately prepared to weather potential future financial storms that will affect financial health, economic growth, job creation and – ultimately – democracy. There is no time for complacency. 2018 was the most volatile year on the stock market since the recession. This trend is expected to continue in 2019.

These issues are too important to be left to the influential lobbies of the financial industry alone. The development of an adequate counterbalance to the enormous influence of these lobbies on policy making is crucial if finance is to better serve the real economy and society as a whole.

BETTER FINANCE, representing EU Citizens as Savers and Investors, aims to ensure that they have their voices heard and their interests taken into account. Crucially, a real renaissance of the Capital Markets Union Project - aimed at improving long-term returns and their transparency as well as improving the funding of investment, innovation and economic growth - will be key, even more so in light of a looming Brexit.

To this end BETTER FINANCE calls for a “New Deal for EU Individual Investors and Users of Financial Services”, outlining 10 key financial policy priorities for 2019 – 2024.

The upcoming European elections in May 2019 will lead to a reconfiguration of the European Parliament and the European Commission. These elections are of the utmost importance for European Financial Services Users (i.e. all EU citizens). For this reason, BETTER FINANCE is making a Public Call to EU Politicians, requesting them to address the critical issues we are confronted with through this online questionnaire.

BETTER FINANCE aims to inform the European voters of what each candidate MEP stands for with respect to EU citizens’ financial rights as long-term savers and users of financial services. The results of the questionnaire will be published before the upcoming parliamentary elections.

  • Read BETTER FINANCE’s Key Priorities for the Next Five Years (“New Deal for EU Individual Investors and Users of Financial Services”) here.
  • Find the BETTER FINANCE “New Deal” Questionnaire here.