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View the article online at http://citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/article/a754925

WMA: National parliaments need more input into EU financial legislation

on Jun 06, 2014 at 08:04

WMA: National parliaments need more input into EU financial legislation

The Wealth Management Association (WMA) is calling for differentiation in legislation between retail and wholesale financial markets, alongside a Europe-wide review on retail consumer protection.

As part of the review, the trade body says it is necessary to set out a framework of 'common principles' or ethics, 'based on best practice'.

Tim May (pictured), head of the WMA, expressed the need to renew EU commitment to the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) by launching a revised plan that 'respects different national characteristics of retail markets and promotes high standards of consumer protection in financial services across the EU'.

'Now is the ideal time for the EU to renew its commitment to the original FSAP of 1999. This plan formalised the creation of a single market rulebook for wholesale financial services and recognised the local nature of retail investment services.

'Time and time again, over the past 15 years we have seen legislation that has failed to differentiate between these markets, creating legislation that undermines the investment culture of member states.

He added: 'We believe our policies are sensible and provide an excellent starting point for the new Parliament and Commissioners to take forward over the next legislative session.'

In the same message, the trade body also reiterated the need for a greater role for national parliaments, and asked the next EU Parliament to employ directives, 'not regulations', when it comes to formulating or adjusting retail financial services law.

This, the WMA said, would allow a role for national parliaments to have more control of consumer protection 'closer to the people and markets that they serve'.

The WMA’s deputy chief executive John Barrass said the markets needed to take stock and see EU rules work 'before we even think of passing through more rules'.

'Revisions are still being made to the likes of PRIIPs and MiFID II, while the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the Financial Transaction Tax and Benchmarking rules remain incomplete. The EU should prioritise better enforcement before beginning to look at new laws.'

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