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Financial Services Policy 2005-2010

The Commission has come out with a White Paper on Financial Services Policy 2005-2010 where it sets out its main policy aims for the period:

– consolidation of the progress achieved;
– completion of current measures;
– enhancement of supervisory cooperation and convergence;
– removal of the remaining barriers to integration.

The ECON rapporteur, Ieke van den Burg, has presented a draft report and the more than 200 amendments that have been tabled will be discussed at the committee meeting on 23 April. Gunnar Hökmark has tabled the following amendments to the report, which he hope will be incorporated into the text:

Paragraph 4 A (new)
Underlines the need to remove barriers for new entrants as well as the need to remove legislation favouring incumbents and current market structures where competition is limited;

Paragraph 6
6. Following the implementation of Directive 2004/39/EC on markets in financial instruments (MiFID), anticipates increased competition among trading platforms, but also increased consolidation of the large stock exchanges; believes that strong cross-Atlantic convergence of rules and supervisory practices is needed, avoiding the imposition of extra-territorial rules; emphasises that good governance is imperative and that the influence of users should not be eroded with changing ownership;

Paragraph 11 A (new)
11 A (new). Underlines the need for a broader analysis regarding the risks and benefits of alternative investment vehicles, and to what extent these are marketed to private consumers.

Paragraph 13
13. Takes the view that national consumer protection traditions must not be interpreted in a way so that new competitors are hindered on the domestic market; underlines the need for a well-functioning internal market for financial services; notes the importance of intermediaries in order to bring competition to the domestic European markets;

Paragraph 15
15. Has taken due note of the sector inquiry into retail banking and payment cards systems that shows several areas for improvement, welcomes in this respect the payment services directive that is expected to bring about better preconditions for competition in these fields;

Paragraph 17
17. Underlines the need for well-functioning basic financial services; asks the Commission to conduct a study on the necessary preconditions for competition, in order to ensure the highest possible accessibility of services such as bank accounts, cash machines, payment cards, and loans at low cost; encourages envisaging universal service obligations on financial institutions to provide such basic services;