Green paper could shake up retail financial services

BRUSSELS – The European Commission (EC) has published a green paper on retail financial services. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (Mifid), due for implementation in November, is designed to harmonise the European Union's investment market and facilitate cross-border equities trading. However, despite Mifid, the objective of a single integrated European market remains a very distant dream for retail financial services.

The green paper follows the EC's 2005 white paper on financial services and the results of the retail banking sector enquiry completed earlier this year. The paper sets out the EC's objectives for the retail sector and its aim to "deepen the EC's understanding of the problems faced by the consumer in this area" through the consultation process.

"We want to create a real single market for retail financial services and bring a range of tangible benefits to European consumers," said Charlie McCreevy

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