Relaunching the European Retail Finance Market: Comments on the Commission's Green Paper

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The European Commission’s Green Paper on retail financial services, published on December 10th, provides valuable insights into the possible benefits of a single market, as well as the obstacles to its development and the possible remedies. While this could have a positive impact on both consumers and providers, it is also important to highlight that a greater diversity of products within countries could contribute to more effective macroeconomic policies at European level.

The development of such a single market for Europe where consumers can confidently purchase more profitable financial products abroad necessitates the establishment of a European body along the lines of the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), or at least the establishment of closer European supervisory cooperation and enforcement. A framework for the digitalisation of financial services should not only focus on mitigating specific types of risk, such as cyber insecurity, lack of privacy and financial exclusion, but it should also continue to maintain a “space of creation” for innovative financial firms.