Nearly 20 employers' federations and organizations issued a statement on Monday expressing their "great concern" about a draft directive proposed by the European Commission on the supervision of advice and the sale of financial products.
If the signatories, which include the French Banking Federation, France Insurers or Medef, say they share "the ambitions carried" and welcome "the provisions to promote financial education", they are concerned about the effects on the commissions received by distributors. For several months, the Parisian financial center has been worried about a text that would prohibit them.
In its draft proposed on 24 May, "the European Commission claims to rule out a general ban on remuneration by commission, but in practice the new obligations that condition them make them essentially inapplicable in securities accounts, life insurance and risk more broadly to undermine the entire distribution of products," say the authors of the text.
As it stands, this would lead to the virtual elimination of the commission-based model, effectively depriving the poorest savers of access to advice (advice gap) and also depriving many savers of financial products made unavailable through financial intermediaries," they continue.
According to them, "the text also provides for many extremely restrictive provisions in the governance and the process of selling savings products", including "a real price control in a market that is currently very competitive".
Brussels wants to better protect retail investors, in the hope of encouraging investments in shares or bonds and thus better develop European financial markets. To this end, the European Commission wants to improve the information provided to investors, which will be more standardised, and introduce greater cost transparency by imposing a standardised presentation and terminology.
In order to limit financial advisers' conflicts of interest, the commissions allocated to them to encourage them to sell certain products will be subject to "stricter safeguards and enhanced transparency obligations". This package still needs to be negotiated with the Member States and the European Parliament.