The EACB welcomes the opportunity to participate in the public consultation on the EBA draft Guidelines on Remuneration Policies and Practices Related to the Sale and Provision of Retail Banking Products and Services (EBA draft Guidelines).
Generally, we support the EBA initiative to align remuneration incentives with the interests of the customers in a way that would prevent mis-selling and enhance consumers’ protection. This approach is not completely new for the European regulators, so eventually it is also known at national level too. Yet, although there are similar provisions already in force in terms of content, they are based on a different personal and material scope of application. In particular, ESMA has issued similar guidelines which apply to employees and products from the area of investment services (ESMA guidelines), while the current EBA draft Guidelines relate to the offering and provision of banking products and services by employees in retail banking (credit agreements and other forms of credit, deposits, payment accounts, payment services, payment instruments, other means of payment and electronic money). Thus, according to the EACB members the challenge would be more how to expand the scope of applications of rules which are already to a great extent part of the European and the national regulatory frameworks. An indispensable condition for this would be the good alignment between the various legal provisions, which would ensure their consistent and efficient application. Such an alignment should be more comprehensive and capture all existing relevant rules.
EACB members also note that while the legitimate ultimate aim of the EBA draft Guidelines is to prevent the design of remuneration systems that allow customers’ interest to be negatively affected, this should not discourage the relevant staff members from active sales policy. Active selling is crucial to good customer service and generally, the business model of a retail bank naturally focuses on a good and fair relationship with customers. Therefore, from a more general perspective, the institutions should be able to align their remuneration policy and practice with other prudential requirements (such as business strategy, objectives, values ), while duly considering their customers’ interests.
Finally, EACB gladly takes this opportunity to comment on some specific draft provisions with a view to contribute to an efficient regulatory solution.
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