On December 4, 2015, the ESAs published a discussion paper on automation in financial advice. The paper addresses  the various ways in which consumers can use automated tools, mainly websites, without human intervention to receive financial guidance. The discussion paper aims to assess what regulatory or supervisory action may be required to mitigate the risks associated with automation whilst still being able to harness its potential benefits. Potential benefits of automation are a decrease in the costs of providing advice, provision of more consistent advice and potentially wider market access for consumers. However, the potential risks include consumers possibly misunderstanding advice  provided to them through automated tools, consumers receiving unsuitable advice and the potential for errors in automated tools. The discussion paper seeks views on the ESAs observations on automation in financial advice across EU jurisdictions. Comments on the discussion paper are due by March 4, 2016.

The discussion paper is available at: http://www.eba.europa.eu/documents/10180/1299866/JC+2015+080+Discussion+Paper+on+automation+in+financial+advice.pdf.