The European Commission considers that retail financial services are not yet as integrated in the EU as they could be.  Services and structures still operate principally on a national basis and it is not possible for consumers to access or transfer certain financial products (e.g. insurances or mortgage credit) cross-border. The Mortgage Credit Directive, the Payment Accounts Directive and theMarkets in Financial Instruments Regulation are but a few of the European legislative changes that have recently been adopted in order to provide better integration.

The Green paper on retail financial services was published on 10 December 2015 to consult on and determine what further steps can be taken to improve integration.  The consultation is open until 18 March 2016.

The European Commission has recently announced that it will hold a public hearing on 2 March 2016 in Brussels, seeking an in-depth and open discussion on the matters raised within the Green paper.  The meeting will be structured along four sessions to cover different aspects of retail financial services, these being:

  • Session 1: How can consumers access the best deals in the EU?
  • Session 2: What about pan-European retail financial products?
  • Session 3: How can we make the most of the opportunities presented by innovation?
  • Session 4: Trusting products from other Member States.