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IFAs urged to push for bigger voice in Europe

The Federation of European Independent Financial Advisers is calling on IFAs to lobby Europe for increased representation at the EU supervisory authority drafting the markets and investor protection regulation.

The European Securities and Markets Authority’s stakeholder group is the industry voice within the supervisor. It has representatives from stock exchanges, investment banks, consumer groups and academia, but intermediaries are not represented.

The European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (Fecif) is lobbying the European Parliament to increase IFA representation in Europe. Feifa chief executive Paul Stanfield is urging advisers to support Fecif’s efforts.

Stanfield says: “There is no IFA representation on Esma’s stakeholder group and very little across European regulatory bodies in general, which is a glaring omission and very disappointing. IFAs are in a better position than others in the group to understand consumers and it could be detrimental to them if advisers are not heard.”

In July, Esma said it received many applications to join the group and aimed to provide a geographic, gender and stakeholder balance “between financial market participants, employees representatives and retail investors and users of financial services”.

The calls come after the European Federation of Investors and the European Consumers Organisation filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman over the under-representation of consumers on the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pension Authority stakeholder groups.

Pilot Financial Planning director Ian Thomas says: “It is logical to have IFA representation on something which will affect IFAs. The problem is that everyone is concentrating so hard on the RDR that Europe tends to be forgotten about.”


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