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BIPAR

BIPAR is the European Federation of Insurance and Financial Intermediaries. It groups 52 national associations in 30 countries. Through its national associations, BIPAR represents the interests of insurance intermediaries (agents and brokers), credit intermediaries and financial intermediaries in Europe. More information on BIPAR can be found on: www.bipar.eu .

BIPAR welcomes the opportunity provided by EBA to give its views on the draft guidelines on remuneration policies and practices related to the sale and provisions of retail banking products and services.

Scope
(Point 9, page 7 and point 9, page 13) With regards to the remuneration of credit intermediaries, the EBA consultation paper clarifies that the draft guidelines do not cover remuneration paid by financial institutions to credit intermediaries and rightly notes that the MCD includes rules that require that where the creditors remunerate credit intermediaries, they must take into account of the rights and interests of consumers. We therefore believe that possibly extending the scope of these guidelines to cover commissions paid to credit intermediaries is not necessary. The Guidelines should not be used as a general entry for additional rule-making.

We believe that the MCD has clearly set rules on this issue. EBA guidelines should not be used as a “backdoor” to regulate the issue in a different way from what was intended in level 1. We believe that, always taking into account the level 1 rules, firms should have a wide spectrum of choices, within the legal limits, in their management decisions regarding remuneration.

Proportionality
(Points 15 and 16, pages 25 and 26) Our second concern is the proportionality of these guidelines. According to the Small Business Act, European Legislation is generally requested to take into account the 'think small first principle. As our members are mostly SMEs and micro-type operators, only proportionate requirements which take full account of the size of these firms, will allow them to continue to give advice and offer choice to their clients.

We welcome the reference to the principle of proportionality in the consultation paper in paragraph 16, p 9: “The National Competent Authorities will apply these draft Guidelines in a proportionate manner as a general principle of Union Law ". It seems however that this principle is not respected given the fact that wording used is the same for generally large firms (credit institutions) and generally small firms (credit intermediaries). We believe that the guidelines should be redrafted so that it is possible for SMEs and sole trader intermediaries to comply with them. We hope that the attention and reference to proportionality will be reflected and clarified in the final guidelines"
Nic de Maesschalck
00 32 2 735 60 48