Date: 14th March 2024

The document serves as BETTER FINANCE response to selected questions of ESMA's discussion paper on the implications of digitalisation for investor protection under MiFID II. The document “Discussion Paper on MiFID II investor protection topics linked to digitalisation” provided by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) focuses on various aspects of digitalisation in the financial sector. It aims to gather insights and feedback on digital engagement practices, content marketing, the use of affiliates and influencers, and the application of gamification techniques – among other topics.

BETTER FINANCE advocates for a proactive approach to ensure that the shift towards digital financial services does not undermine investor rights and protections. To this aim, key questions raised by ESMA are tackled, emphasising the need for enhanced transparency, adequate information provision to investors, and the evolution of regulatory frameworks to meet the challenges of digitalisation. BETTER FINANCE perspective is clear: while embracing the benefits of digital innovation in financial services, investor protection must remain a paramount concern, necessitating thoughtful regulation and vigilant oversight.

BETTER FINANCE expresses its support for the viewpoints presented by ESMA in the MiFID II discussion paper concerning investor protection and digitalisation. BETTER FINANCE recognizes its limitations in addressing many questions from the paper, as they pertain to the internal workings or variety of ecosystems of financial firms. Additionally, with limited resources to thoroughly investigate the most concerning digital investment entities, we offer general observations. Despite these limitations, BETTER FINANCE offers insights from a retail investor's perspective on specific issues that go beyond the organisational procedures of financial firms. Focused on selected questions, BETTER FINANCE aims to provide additional insights that contribute to the dialogue initiated by ESMA.