Financial services: Agreement on the involvement of consumers in policymaking
On 14 February 2017, representatives of the Council and the European Parliament reached agreement on a programme to promote the involvement of consumers in policymaking in financial services.
Grants will be provided to two NGOs - Finance Watch and Better Finance - to support activities that encourage the involvement of consumers and other end-users in policymaking. The programme will also contribute to the information of consumers about issues at stake in regulation of the financial sector.
"As much as regulators, consumers are well placed to judge the suitability of a financial product or service and can contribute actively to policymaking", said Edward Scicluna, Maltese minister for finance and president of the Council. "This EU-wide support programme is meant to strengthen this consumer participation."
The new programme follows on from a 2011 pilot project that set out to restore consumer confidence in the financial sector following the 2007-08 financial crisis.
It will be established for the period running from its entry into force until 31 December 2020 with a financial envelope of €6 million.
Financial services consumers cover a range of users including individual savers, retail investors, insurance holders, pension fund participants and borrowers.
The agreement will be submitted to EU ambassadors in the coming days for approval on behalf of the Council. The Parliament and the Council will then be called on to adopt the proposed regulation without further discussion.