22 nov 16
22 nov 16
Retail financial services: Liberals and Democrat MEP's call for EU market to be opened up

The European Parliament has today adopted a report calling for the removal of unnecessary barriers in the European retail financial market. ALDE wants it to be easier for consumers and businesses to offer and use financial services in Europe.

Commenting after the adoption of the report today, Sophie in’t Veld:

"We say we have a single internal European market, but at present only 3% of retail financial services are available across borders; this has to change. In some countries, I have no doubt this means consumers are paying higher interest rates for their products than they should be.  The EU must act to unlock the full potential of retail financial services in our internal market.

“EU consumers should be able to choose to take a loan from a German bank, contents insurance from a Czech insurer or credit to buy a car from a French-Polish Bank. Breaking open the European financial services market for consumers will provide more choice, better prices and increased security."

The report warns that, for the first quarter of 2016, fintech funding in Europe accounted for only USD 348 m, as compared to USD 1.8 bn in North America and USD 2.6 bn in China.

“It is disappointing to see that the S&D and EPP are holding back and did not support the ALDE in proposing specific measures with a clear deadline. Major powers like the US and China are investing huge sums in FinTech products, but Europe is increasingly behind. A fragmented European market is not attractive for investors. It’s not too late for Europe to become the global "hub" of financial services, but much more must be done now to bring investment into Europe", says In 't Veld.