BETTER FINANCE welcomes this timely assessment and evidence gathering on the application of the new MiFID II rules on disclosure for inducements and costs. However, it is very unfortunate that, in a field that is crucial to investor protection and designed to enhance consumer experience and trust in financial services, the majority of questions are addressed to those who are implementing the new rules, not to end-users. In other words, measuring the impact of extended disclosure requirements that are meant to increase transparency and intelligibility of the financial service to the consumer, should be based on consumer views in order to ascertain whether:
- they have reached their purpose; and
- there is divergent application between EU jurisdictions.
BETTER FINANCE surveys, both among its Member Organisations and directly with consumers in several EU markets, have revealed a very disappointing experience following the entry into force of MiFID II (1 January 2018), in particular in relation to the disclosure of costs. As such, to see that ESMA qualifies just a little more than a third of the questions “of interest to consumer organisations" (in fact, only 28% can be answered by laypeople) raises serious concerns with regard to the usefulness of the results ESMA may derive from this exercise.