The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA) published today a consultation paper on draft Guidelines for regulating cross-selling practices in the financial sector across the EU. These guidelines establish a coherent and effective approach in supervising firms that offer cross-selling options, so as to enhancing protection of EU customers. The consultation will run until 22 March 2015.
The draft Guidelines are aimed at EU competent authorities and develop further how EU firms engaging in cross-selling practices in the financial sector should comply with the general conduct of business standards expected toward customers. In particular, the Guidelines provide an approach for supervising firms valid across the EU and give more scope for EU customers to take better informed purchasing decisions.
While cross-selling financial products can benefit customers by reducing the cost of purchase, cross-selling can also result in customers purchasing products that they do not necessarily want or may be unsuitable for their needs or will bind consumers in a long-term contractual agreement. In order to address these risks, the Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities developed requirements for enhanced disclosure and transparency around prices, costs and other non-price features, such as how the risks change as a result of buying products as a package. The Guidelines also require that all relevant information is communicated in a timely and exhaustive manner, hence improving customer understanding of the purchase and the suitability/appropriateness of the cross-sold package.
The proposed Guidelines of the Joint Committee are developed under Article 16 of the Founding Regulations of the three ESAs. The Joint Committee expects to publish the final guidelines in Q2 2015.
The consultation paper is available on the websites of the three ESAs: EBA, ESMA and EIOPA. Comments to this discussion paper can be sent clicking on the "send your comments" button.