28 February 2014
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today its annual report on consumer trends, giving an overview of the analysis carried out in the area of consumer protection and financial innovation. The report identifies the consumer issues that may arise, or have arisen, from these trends, and describes the approaches the EBA will be taking in 2014 to address them.
The report builds on the findings outlined in the 2013 edition of the report, providing a review of the actions the EBA has undertaken since then, and identifies the key areas of concern, analyses the trends and describes the approaches that the EBA will be adopting in 2014 for its work on consumer protection.
In particular, specific areas have been identified in the report which represent the key consumer issues the EBA will focus on throughout 2014.
Many trends have remained an issue in 2014. For example, matters related to household borrowing, i.e. the means of financing available to households for the purchase of residential properties and for some of their consumption expenditure, remain important. The topic of bank accounts, in turn, has increased in relevance and now includes the topic of transparency and level of fees, as well as account switching.
Crowdfunding has attracted the greatest attention across the EU, as it provides an alternative to traditional channels of borrowing and lending. Mis-selling of products continues to be an issue this year, as some survey results show that consumers still mention this as a reason for losing confidence in the financial institutions. The increased usage of innovative payment methods, such as internet and mobile payments, is also a continuing issue, particularly with regard to payment security. New trends that have emerged for this year include virtual currencies and comparison websites.
The report is built on a wide set of resources, including input from national supervisory authorities (NSAs), reports and statistical datasets produced by third-party entities, views from the EBA Banking Stakeholder Group (BSG) and complaints data from national Ombudsmen across the EU.