Parliament committee wants big boost to the consumer protection powers of EU financial supervisory authorities

BEUC NEWS - 10.01.2018

The European Parliament Committee for Economic Affairs (ECON) is pushing for a real upgrade to the powers of the three financial supervisors – the pensions and insurance authority (EIOPA), the banking authority (EBA) and the securities and markets authorities (ESMA).

 

The authorities were created in the wake of the financial crisis which struck ten years ago, after it was deemed that financial supervision had largely failed.

Among the authorities’ main task is to make sure EU legislation is applied correctly at national level. They also have powers to protect consumers in a market which is notorious for mis-selling or the complexity of products on offer. BEUC and several civil society organisations have consistently argued that the three authorities should take on a more hands-on role to protect consumers.

The Parliament committee is keen for the authorities to be able to ban more financial products and activities that can cause real detriment to consumers. The authorities would also be able to coordinate mystery shopping activities with national authorities or to carry out investigations into particular products and institutions. MEPs also want the authorities to develop standards that all national authorities have to follow (minimum powers and tasks) when it comes to supervising the market. Granting the ESAs with these new powers could be a game changer for consumer protection.  

BEUC urges the Council of Ministers to pay close attention to Parliament’s position and follow its conclusions.