Giving Europeans more choice in financial services: the European Commission consults

The European Commission is today launching the Green Paper on Consumer Finance, a three-month consultation on how to create a stronger European market for consumer financial services. Consumer financial services such as bank accounts, mortgages and insurance are an essential part of daily life. But many people find it hard to access these services across borders; and many businesses find it hard to provide them. The Commission’s goal is to make it easier for those companies that so wish to offer financial products at the retail level in other EU Member States, which would give consumers access to a far greater range of products. People should also be able to take those products with them if they move to another EU country to work, study or retire. Jonathan Hill said: “Financial products like bank accounts, mortgages and insurance are hugely important in the daily lives of millions of Europeans. But people often miss out on the best deals, or pay over the odds because of the barriers that exist in the European market. In this, as in other areas, the single market can bring benefits by helping consumers enjoy more competition and pick from the best that Europe has to offer. I hope that citizens and businesses will respond to this consultation to share their experiences and suggest how we can best tackle these barriers.”In parallel to the consultation, the Commission is seeking feedback via social media. People can post a short video setting out the problems have faced accessing financial services across Europe, with the hashtag #MyMoneyEU. More details here. Commissioner Hill‘s press conference on the Green Paper can be followed live on EbS. To read the full press release, see here.