Date: 1st October 2021
Author: BETTER FINANCE

In the 2017 EC Consumer Finance Action Plan, the Commission undertook to monitor the distance selling market of retail financial services in order to identify the potential consumer risks and business opportunities in this market and, on that basis, decide on the need to amend distance-selling requirements. In this context, a behavioural study was conducted: Behavioural Study on the digitalisation of the marketing and distance selling of retail financial services. On the basis of the Commission’s 2019 Work Programme, the Commission launched an evaluation of the Directive. The evaluation found that the Directive has been partially effective in increasing consumer protection and is still of limited effectiveness in promoting the cross border delivery of financial services.

While the Directive’s objectives are still relevant, it is unclear to what extent it contributes to addressing the current challenges consumers face when purchasing a financial service at distance i.e. online or off-premises.

The Adjusted Commission 2020 Work Programme listed the Directive as subject to a “regulatory fitness” exercise. In this context, the Commission will carry out an impact assessment to see whether and if so, how, to revise the Directive.

The public consultation provided the opportunity for consumers, retail financial services professionals, national authorities and any other interested stakeholders to give their opinions on how they think the Directive is functioning. The results of this consultation will help the Commission when drafting the Impact Assessment and assessing the Directive.