European CommissionThe European Commission (EC) has unveiled its action plan for consumers and is asking for feedback on its fintech ambitions.

The EC wants to prise open national barriers as only 7% of consumers currently buy financial services from another EU member state.

Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president responsible for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union, EC, says: “European consumers and firms should be able to take full advantage of a true single market for financial services. Consumers should have access to the best products available across the EU, not just within their own country.”

The EC has identified three main strands for further work: increase consumer trust; reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad; and support the development of an “innovative digital world”.

It will monitor the practices of digital providers to decide if rules for selling financial services remotely – such an online or by phone – should be updated.

In addition, it intends to focus on three core principles for the European fintech sector: technology-neutrality, so the same rules are applied to traditionally-sold products and services (e.g. via branches) as those sold digitally; proportionality, so rules are suitable for different business models, size and activities of the regulated entities; and improved integrity to ensure transparency, privacy and security.

As a first step, the EC invites all interested parties to respond to this plan, and you can do that here.

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