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News article20 June 2024Directorate-General for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union2 min read

FSUG calls for action: Financial services should work for the benefit of citizens

The Financial Services User Group (FSUG) unveiled its comprehensive set of recommendations for the next Commission, aiming to address critical challenges faced by citizens, including financial services consumers, retail investor & pension savers.

These recommendations, covering the period from 2024 to 2029, emphasise the need for a robust and inclusive financial services market that benefits all EU citizens.

Tackling the challenges of today and tomorrow

European citizens continue to grapple with the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Coupled with an underdeveloped Capital Markets Union (CMU), low trust in financial services and with the risks coming from an increasing digitalisation, the FSUG stresses the urgency for the European Commission to act decisively.

Key areas of focus include

  1. revitalising the Capital Markets Union: Despite some progress, EU citizens still lack sufficient access to suitable financial products. The FSUG recommends measures to facilitate access to simple, cost-efficient and Pan-European investment products and also to enhance consumer and investor protection rules
  2. supporting Vulnerable Groups and better protecting consumers and retail investors: To this end, the FSUG recommends the next Commission to prioritise access to independent financial advice, revise the Mortgage Credit Directive, harmonise personal insolvency schemes in the EU, improve provisions to prevent, detect and address fraud, regulate peer-to-peer lending and robo-advice, revise the Payment Accounts Directive, guarantee affordable access to cash for citizens, ensure access to finance for micro-enterprises and vulnerable groups and secure an adequate level of pension and minimum benefits for the elderly
  3. on digitalisation and green transition, the FSUG recommends the next Commission to prioritise further regulation of artificial intelligence, social media finfluencers, ensure common practices and evaluation of active engagement vis-à-vis investments, ESG compliance and a common EU label for financial products, accompanied by clear rules on greenwashing and mis-selling
  4. for horizontal policies of the Commission, FSUG recommends specific measures to:
    1. improve the support of the consumers organisations by further involving, consulting and empowering EU citizens as financial users and investors, and their representative organisations
    2. promote gender equality: With women-led businesses raising only 2% of venture capital in the EU, the FSUG urges the Commission to create a gender-balanced investment ecosystem. Tailored policy interventions are needed to meet the diverse needs of women investors and entrepreneurs

About FSUG

The Financial Services User Group (FSUG) is an expert group set up by the European Commission in 2011, dedicated to representing the interests of European citizens in the financial services market. By advocating for transparent, fair, and efficient financial systems, FSUG aims to ensure that the financial well-being of EU citizens is prioritised and protected.