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Insurance Ireland Brussels Roundtable 8

 

8th Brussels Roundtable -  A financial competence framework – how to empower consumers

Date: 25th March 2021

Time: 11.30-12.30 (Irish Time) 

Place: Virtual via Zoom

The comprehensive package on financial services and consumer protection which was developed in Europe in the aftermath of the financial crisis is soon up for review. The regulatory package was a milestone towards consistent standards in the European Union. Notwithstanding these achievements, the legislative package left an important factor out of scope (or, at least, on the side-line): The question on how to make consumers and private household financially future-ready and resilient – “how do we empower consumers?”

Policies are due to fail which focus solely on the information provided to the consumer, but not on the ability of consumers to understand and assess the provided information and for making an informed decision. Fortunately, the focus shifts and empowering consumers is at the very heart of a number of initiatives driven by regulators and the industry. For the insurance industry, the “demand” on the consumer does not stop with the assessment of information provided by third parties.

The announcement from the European Commission to assess the feasibility of a financial competence framework is a very important step in the right direction. A consistent strategy and concrete measures and standards on how to empower consumers to make sound and well-informed decisions should be the aim. The European Parliament took the opportunity to emphasise the importance of the subject matter when it called for concrete steps in its report on the renewed Capital Markets Union Action Plan.

Against this background, we would like to invite you to discuss the question:“A financial competence framework – how to empower consumers?”

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