European financial regulators are seeking to bolster retail investor protection with enhanced, upfront disclosure documents to be used for retail investment products across the securities, insurance, and banking sectors.
The Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities, which includes the region’s banking, insurance and securities regulators, on Wednesday published a consultation paper that proposes new rules on the content and presentation of retail disclosure documents, known as Key Information Documents (KIDs).
Once the content of the new documents are finalized and implemented, they will provide retail investors with “consumer-friendly information” that will enable them to understand, and compare packaged retail investment products across the EU, regardless of whether they are offered by banking, insurance or securities firms, the regulators say.
The paper sets out detailed requirements for the KIDs including: document layout; risk disclosure and the methodology for assigning risk indicators; possible performance scenarios; and cost disclosure, among other elements of the new regime. The new disclosure documents will have to provided to investors before they make an investment decision, the consultation paper notes.
“Today’s consultation is a major step forward for the EU’s retail investors by setting out clear proposals on the contents of the KID, which are aimed at improving safeguards and transparency around investment products,” said Steven Maijoor, chair of the Joint Committee and head of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), in a statement.
“The KID, once implemented, aims to safeguard retail investors’ interests by ensuring they receive sufficiently clear, concise and understandable information to allow them to make better informed investment decisions,” he added.
The regulators plan to hold a public hearing on the proposed new disclosure documents in Frankfurt on Dec. 9. The deadline for feedback on the consultation is Jan. 29, 2016. Firms will be required to start using the new documents by Jan. 1, 2017.