The entry into force of the Royal Decree of 25 April 2014 imposing certain information obligations when marketing financial products to retail clients (the “Royal Decree 2014”, also known as the Transversal Royal Decree) was planned for 12 June 2015. The scope and purpose of the Royal Decree 2014 are comparable to European Regulation 1286/2014 on key information documents for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products ("PRIIPs"). However, now that the final text for PRIIPs has been adopted, certain discrepancies between the Royal Decree 2014 and PRIIPs have arisen. Moreover, the executive measures for PRIIPs have still not been finalised. Consequently, the Belgian regulator ("FSMA") is considering postponing the entry into force of the Royal Decree 2014.

With the Royal Decree 2014, the Belgian legislator wanted to use a cross-cutting approach to strengthen retail clients’ protection when financial products are marketed to them. 

The Royal Decree 2014 consists of two components: (i) the submission of a short standardised and easy-to-understand information note (including certain compulsory information describing the product) when marketing financial products and (ii) the regulation of advertising of financial products (minimal information, rules about the presentation of yields, etc.). 

The FSMA, who considers postponing the entry into force of the Royal Decree 2014 has started consultation proceedings. The postponement, however, would not affect the obligation to issue information notes for regulated savings accounts only. 

With the postponement of the Royal Decree 2014, there would be the corresponding postponement of the Royal Decree of 25 April 2014 approving the regulation of the FSMA on the technical requirements of the risk label.

The financial sector must now wait for further information from the FSMA about the outcome of the consultation and the likely postponement of the Royal Decree 2014.