24th March 2017

EC publishes Action Plan to bring consumers better financial services, launches FinTech consultation

The European Commission has presented an Action Plan that sets out ways to provide European consumers with greater choice and better access to financial services across the EU. There is a major focus on technology, given that innovative online services will drive progress towards a more integrated market for financial services. To that end, the Commission is also publishing a consultation on technology and its impact on the European financial services sector (so called ‘FinTech') to spur our work in this area.


The Action Plan

The Commission has identified three main strands of further work:

  • Increase consumer trust and empower consumers when buying services at home or from other Member States. Among other things, we want to make it easier for drivers to take their no-claims bonus ('bonus-malus') abroad. We also want to reduce fees for cross-border transactions involving non-Euro currencies and we will be taking steps towards more transparent pricing of car rental insurance.
  • Reduce legal and regulatory obstacles affecting businesses when seeking to expand abroad. This will include working on common creditworthiness assessment criteria and facilitating the exchange of data between credit registers.
  • Support the development of an innovative digital world which can overcome some of the existing barriers to the Single Market. We will work with the private sector to explore how they could use electronic identification and trust services for checking the identity of customers. We will also monitor the practices of digital providers to decide if rules for selling financial services remotely - such an online or by phone - should be updated.


FinTech: the new frontier in financial services

In order to help the European FinTech sector operate freely across the EU and be competitive, the Commission intends to focus on three core principles: technology-neutrality, so that the same rules are applied to traditionally-sold products and services (e.g. via branches) as those sold digitally; this is to ensure innovation and a level-playing field. Second, proportionality so that the rules are suitable for different business models, size and activities of the regulated entities. Third, improved integrity to ensure transparency, privacy and security for consumers. 

As a first step, the Commission invites all interested parties to respond to the FinTech consultation. The consultation aims to gather first-hand information on the impact of new technology on the entire financial sector. It will help to assess whether EU regulatory and supervisory rules are adequate and what future actions may be needed.


Read the press release in English and Czech.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic