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MEP committee pushes for veto on proposed standards that would hit high street investors

1 September 2016

MEP committee pushes for veto on proposed standards that would hit high street investors

Poor technical standards that could hurt high street investors have been rejected today by the European Parliament’s economics committee.

Poor technical standards that could hurt high street investors have been rejected today by the European Parliament’s economics committee.

The committee voted down ill-fitting measures relating to Packaged Retail and Insurance Based Investment Products (PRIIPS) such as investment funds, insurance products and derivatives. The European Commission had proposed ‘Regulatory Technical Standards’ for PRIIPS under their so-called ‘delegated acts’ powers, giving the European Parliament the opportunity to overturn them. Although rarely used in financial matters, a cross-party grouping of MEPs has today invoked the powers to reject the rushed proposals, and ask the commission to listen to legitimate concerns from companies that provide these financial products. The vote by the economics committee must be upheld by an absolute majority of the full European Parliament.

One of the leading MEPs seeking this rejection has been European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Chairman and London MEP Syed Kamall.

He said:

“The committee would have preferred not to take this drastic step, but we have been hitting our head against a brick wall with the commission. These standards – as they stand – could hurt high street investors, like the millions of people who go into their bank to set up an ISA account.

“This is not a political decision. A cross-party group of MEPs has come together to say that technical standards need to be accurate. The commission has dismissed all opposition as industry lobbying but the industry also contains fund providers who support the principle of this legislation but have legitimate concerns. We have a responsibility to listen and question all parties involved.

“The commission now needs to realise that we are serious about demanding they get this right. We are not rejecting the principles behind this regulation, as clear and accurate guidance to investors is crucial. However, we want legislation that will deliver, not tokenistic legislation that is more concerned with meeting a deadline than protecting consumers.”

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