BETTER FINANCE Urges a Genuine Reform of the Dysfunctional European Retail Investment Market in Support of EC’s Strategy

Date: 19th October 2023

BETTER FINANCE, the European Federation of Investors and Financial Services Users, has published a position paper on the European Commission’s Retail Investment Strategy (RIS) proposals. The organisation fully supports the EC’s RIS objectives: consistent rules, enhanced retail investor protection, unbiased advice, competitive financial markets, and transparent and comparable product information.

The RIS constitutes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reshape the highly dysfunctional European retail investment market: widespread conflicts of interest, inconsistent rules, and inadequate key product information are endemic. As a result, just one-third of EU citizens trust advice from financial distributors.

Aleksandra M?czy?ska, Acting Managing Director of BETTER FINANCE, stresses that “despite significant and regrettable opposition from large parts of the financial industry, the European Commission (EC) managed to incorporate elements in the Retail Investor Strategy Proposal that hold the potential to finally improve the situation for consumers. We sincerely hope that the co-legislators will prioritise the interests of consumers and support crucial steps in the right direction, such as the ‘value for money’ framework and the very limited ban on kickbacks for non-advised – “execution-only” – sales. It is clear that in order to encourage consumers to invest and participate more in capital markets, we cannot continue with the status quo, which has so far served individual investors very poorly.”