Structured Dialogue with Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union
My first question:
Financial services have been one of the rapidly expanding sectors of EU economic activity.
They also serve to boost the economies of peripheral member states.
Yet, they have been tainted in recent years by the Luxleaks and Panama papers scandals, among others.
Indeed one hears about them mostly in the context of controversies about money laundering, tax evasion and aggressive tax planning schemes.
To these, proposals about tax harmonisation and the elimination of tax competition get hitched.
Competition in financial services is bound to become more ruthless, no holds barred, to cope with the displacement effects of Brexit.
Yet the sector is providing retail and institutional backup essential for the EU to remain competitive under globalisation.
Financial service providers have to be in top shape as leading participants in current progress towards banking and capital markets union.
They need to regain legitimacy and respect in the face of massive political and media assaults.
Do you not consider that we need some code of professional, corporate and personal conduct applying at EU level, covering the provision of financial services? It would not be self-regulatory but would be overseen by an independent public institution, also operating at EU level, to ensure transparency and fairness?
My second point refers to the Insurance sector:
– The lnsurance Distribution Directive (lDD) is to be implemented at national level by 23 February 2018, including four Delegated Acts specifying some key provisions with regard to Product Oversight and Governance, Conflicts of interest, lnducements and Assessment of suitability and appropriateness of reporting.
– The Delegated Acts are binding for the Member States, who must implement them by 23 February. Moreover, they are of significant importance for businesses.
– Since the Commission has not yet adopted these four Delegated Acts, it is unlikely that they will enter into force before October 2017. This leaves too little time for Member States to implement them by 23 February 2018.
The Insurance Distribution Directive will bring widespread changes to the sector of mainly SME operators. Its implementation timeline is simply not realistic. It will not allow the proportionality principle to be taken into account.
– In a country like Malta, where I come from, most of the insurance intermediaries are small or micro entities. For them, the changes prospected will give rise to considerable burdens.
Is the Commission aware of this very serious problem?
Can it consider a postponement of the IDD implementation deadline?