Efforts to bolster consumer protection among retail financial product manufacturers in Europe with tougher guidance has led to some improvements, but customers’ interests still aren’t firms’ top priority, a report from regulators finds.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report on Friday that examines how the financial industry has implemented new requirements that were adopted in 2017 to address widespread misconduct and mis-selling.
Regulators issued new guidance focusing on product oversight and governance arrangements that aimed to improve consumer protection.
“The guidelines are aimed at ensuring that products are developed and brought to market in a way that focuses on the needs and interests of the consumer and, in so doing, to reduce conduct costs and contribute to market confidence,” the EBA said.
Among other things, the report found that financial product manufacturers have made changes in terms of processes and governance.
However, it also concluded that “in a large number of cases, customer interests did not quite receive the same level of attention as was given to commercial interests and prudential concerns.”
The EBA also found variance in how the new requirements are being interpreted by various firms. It said that it will now consider whether additional guidance and further clarification is necessary.