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Author: Consumer blog

Is there a need to reform European financial supervision for the benefit of consumers?

The European Commission has recently closed its public consultation on the Operation of the European Supervisory Authorities (see the feedback statement here). The supervision of financial firms in the EU is subject to a complex, multi layered system consisting of national and EU supervisory authorities that has became even more complex after the creation of the Banking Union. For us here...

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E-commerce: consumer confidence grows significantly

Yesterday, the Commission published the 2017 edition of the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard.  Next to the observation that the share of consumers buying online has pretty much doubled over the last 10 years (from 29.7% in 2007 to 55% in 2017), the most striking finding is that consumer trust has increased quite dramatically since the 2015 edition. The study records a 12 points increase...

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Debt collection requires consumer protection, too – CJEU in Gelvora (C-357/16)

From previous European case law we already know that commercial practices directed at consumers have been broadly interpreted by the Court of Justice (see e.g. CHS Tour Services). In the most recent case – Gelvora (C-357/16) – which was decided last Thursday, July 20, the CJEU decided to encompass within this notion also services of debt collection agencies, which collect debts resulting...

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Towards a true European Market for retail financial services

In December 2015 the Commission commenced a comprehensive consultation on steps to take to create ‘true European market for retail financial services’. Stakeholders, including consumers are invited give their views on the ways to improve choice, transparency and competition in retail financial products and services, and ways to facilitate the cross-border provision of these products and...

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Transparency of energy offers

Yesterday we reported about the Commission’s study on vulnerability, which, among other things, called for more transparency, so that consumers could easier compare offers and make choices. This week also the BEUC reported on the need for more transparency in one consumer sector – energy.   BEUC, EUROGAS and EURELECTRIC issued a joint statement urging energy suppliers to simplify their...

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Consumer vulnerability study published by the Commission

Yesterday the Commission published a study examining the incidence of consumer vulnerability across the EU28 and Iceland and Norway. It identifies the main reasons behind this vulnerability and what can be done about it. A special focus is on the challenges consumers face in the online environment, as well as in the finance and energy sectors. Many consumers show some signs of...

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A missed opportunity? CJEU judgment in Case C-49/14 (Finanmadrid)

Today the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered its judgment in Case C-49/14 (Finanmadrid). We have reported earlier on AG Szpunar’s opinion in this case. The questions referred for a preliminary ruling gave the CJEU an opportunity to clarify the relation between the general principles of effectiveness and equivalence in EU law and Article 47 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, which safeguards the right to effective judicial...

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ODR-Platform online

The Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform is now available online.   The platform serves as a single contact point to direct consumers and traders to available dispute resolution bodies for consumer disputes in all EU countries. The availability of such bodies is a must following the implementation of the ADR Directive. Given that some countries are delayed with a view to the...

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