At the end of March I had a pleasure to present at the Consumer Protection in Financial Services conference organized by the Academy of European Law (ERA). The conference tackled the themes of cross-border payments, consumer and mortgage credit and financial digitization and innovation raising many theoretically interesting and practically relevant questions. Without discussing these, our readers might be interested in the current and upcoming initiatives of the EU Commission.
Cross border payments
The review of Regulation 942/2009 has ended and the amending regulation is about to be published (see the Proposal here). The basic changes to the current regime will be the extension of the basic principle of having no difference in charges for domestic and international payments to non-euro countries, and there will be enhanced transparency requirements for currency conversion services.
The most important development in the progress of applying Directive 2015/2366 (PSD2) is the entry into force of Regulation 2018/389 supplementing PSD2 with Regulatory Technical Standards on Strong Customer Authentication and Common and Secure Communication in September 2019. In addition, since the entry into force of PSD2 several Application Programme Interfaces (APIs) have been developed (such as the Open Banking in the UK) and the working of which is being actively monitored by European Banking Authority and the EU Commission.
The review of Directive 2014/92/EU has started with the study being awarded that will cover the update of the list of services part of the payment account with basic features, assessing the need for additional measures for price comparison websites. The review will also cover new aspects not included into the scope of the Directive such as the feasibility of cross-border account switching, and the EU-wide portability of IBAN numbers.
Directive 2014/17/EC is due for review in 2020 and the Commission is currently preparing to award the study for the review. The study will cover the use and consumer understanding of ESIS and the cross-border success of the Directive. It will also cover new areas not currently included into the scope of the Directive such as the need for supervision of credit registers, the impact of digitization on mortgage credit and the need for additional post-contractual rights for consumers.
Directive 2008/48/EC is currently being evaluated, the EU Commission has just closed the public consultation. After gathering all the information from the evaluation the EU Commission will decide whether or not review the Directive. Some new issues under consideration are similar as with the Directive 2014/17/EC and extend to the need to regulate/supervise credit registers and the impact of digitization on consumer credit.
Unfair contract terms
Directive 1993/13/EC was also discussed especially in the context of mortgage credit, and it has been noted that the Commission is currently working on a guide for applying the Directive in the light of the rich case-law that significantly advanced the level of protection provided by the Directive (and which we have discussed on this blog).