Following the outbreak of the financial crisis in 2008, the stabilisation of financial markets became a priority for the EU, and financial sector reform a crucial instrument to achieve it. Filling in the gaps in financial sector regulation and strengthening the supervision of the financial sector in Europe have been the two main strands of EU work. To this end, the European Union has established European supervisory authorities with real powers.
EU legislation has also been adopted to tackle excessive volatility in financial markets, including on hedge funds, short-selling strategies, credit rating agencies and “over-the-counter” derivatives. Work is also currently on-going on very significant legislative packages revamping the regulation of banks and capital markets, as well as on a framework for crisis prevention and management for banks and for deposit guarantee schemes.
The EU feels that the process of transformation in Europe’s financial sector needs to continue as new challenges and priorities emerge. In particular, to break negative interconnections between banks and governments, the EU is taking action to build a genuine banking union in Europe, while fully preserving the single market for financial services.
As stated in its White Paper on Financial Services Policy 2005–2010, the European Commission attaches great importance to ensuring proportionate user representation. In the European Communication for the European Council – Driving European Recovery, the Commission put the interests of European investors, consumers and SMEs at the centre of the financial market reform. As a measure to achieve these targets, the European Commission set up a Financial Services User Group (FSUG) . The group’s task is to:
- advise the Commission in the preparation of legislation or policy initiatives which affect the users of financial services
- provide insight, opinion and advice concerning the practical implementation of such policies
- proactively seek to identify key financial services issues which affect users of financial services
- liaise with and provide information to financial services user representatives and representative bodies at the European Union and national level.
Objectives and areas for action
This task force seeks to help AGE provide input on dossiers related to the EU action on financial services, in particular to contribute national expertise on dossiers addressed to the Financial Services Users’ Group ( FSUG) set up by the European Commission (DG Internal Market) in an attempt to consult stakeholders representing users in the development of its policy on financial services.
AGE's participation in the FSUG complements the work we are already undertaking in the field of age discrimination in financial services but it goes even further. The issues on which the Task Force work include among others: 2nd and 3rd pillar pensions, insurance products, EU solvency rules for pension funds and insurance providers, collective redress, self-regulation, mortages, consumer protection and price transparency, e-payment and m-payments, the European Banking Union, financial market’s supervision, etc.
AGE seeks to raise awareness on barriers older people face while using financial products and to ensure that upcoming EU legislative and policy developments take into account the rights and needs of older persons.
AGE is a member of FSUG since 2010 and is represented by Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Secretary General. FSUG meets 8 times per year and is asked to send input on various dossiers, reports and consultations on the EU table.
Responsible staff member: Anne-Sophie Parent, firstname.lastname@example.org