In its opinion, the EESC focusses on the revision of the Consumer Credit Directive which has some shortcomings: a certain number of important obstacles are due to the application, implementation and enforcement of the Directive as well as wider market developments not foreseen at the time it was drawn up in 2008.
Financial services contracts - Related Opinions
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In its opinion, the EESC calls for physical and digital completion of the internal market to be on an equal footing and for a high level of consumer protection to be achieved. It calls for greater durability of goods, access to sustainable products, a clean, circular, more climate-friendly economy and efficient use of products, as well as combating of planned obsolescence and the right to repair goods and products.
The EESC shares the Commission's view on the strategic importance of payments and that further work is needed to enable payment transactions within the single market using new home-grown, pan-European payment solutions. It also supports the view that the Commission should act as a political catalyst, whilst it is the private sector that should design the innovative digital payment solutions. The EESC believes that relevant market players should be subject to appropriate legislation, supervision and oversight, ensuring a level playing field among those offering the same services and activities.
The Commission has identified three main strands of further work to move a step closer to a genuine Single Market for financial services:
Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States.
Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad.
Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market.
While supporting the pilot project to set up a financial expertise centre for consumers and end-users of financial services, the EESC feels it would be useful to call for a number of conditions to be met: legitimacy, financial independence, transparency and accountability, public visibility, as well as balance between financial sector professionals and users.
With this opinion the EESC takes the opportunity to comment on how the European market for retail financial services can be further opened up. The EESC welcomes that the Commission is on track and has an ambitious programme for implementing the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, also endorsing that consumers should be given the opportunity, whenever possible, to compare different products, so they can make an informed choice.
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