The EACB has several reservations with regard to the characteristics as proposed in the paper as follows:
- We are against the idea to identify something as advice when “reasonably perceived by the consumer as financial advice” and do not agree with the statements on page 10 point 12 and page 13, point 23. In analysing automated financial advice we should depart from the legal framework that already exists around advice (e.g. MIFID, IDD, MCD)
- It should be borne in mind that not every automated tool that names financial products on the basis of certain criteria supplied by the consumer constitutes advice. A general distinction has to be made between automated recommendations and just the results of
- likewise automated – searches. To co-operative banks pivotal is the distinction between advice as an automated recommendation on the one hand and a search tool on the other hand. If an automated tool with respect to MiFID and MiFID II fulfils the regulatory requirements of a financial advice it should be governed by the same supervisory requirements as advice provided by a human adviser. Bearing this in mind advice means that the recommendation that is given to the client is based on an individual suitability assessment which especially takes the personal and financial situation, his other financial objectives, his knowledge and his willingness to take risks into consicderation.
- Human advice should not be discriminated against compared with automated advice. The same activities should instead be subject to the same regulatory standards. It should thus also be ensured that, in online business as well, the term “advice” may only cover recommendations which – in regard to securities, at any rate – are based on a consumer questionnaire in line with the supervisory requirements applying under securities law and on a suitability assessment. Conversely, it should be made clear to consumers if merely “selection aids” are involved that are designed simply to help them make an investment decision on their own responsibility.