Directive 2002/65/EC on Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services (‘Directive’) lays down rules on three key areas (pre-contractual information; right of withdrawal; ban of unsolicited services) concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services. Any service of a banking, credit, mortgage, insurance, personal pension, investment or payment nature falls under the scope of Directive whenever the financial service is purchased at a distance.
The Directive aims at promoting the free movement of financial services in the single market by harmonising consumer protection rules governing this area. The Directive sets out a list of information items concerning the financial service that the consumer should receive before the distance contract is concluded.
The Directive applies horizontally across all EU legislation in the field of financial services, as long as the product-specific legislation (e.g., Consumer Credit Directive or Mortgage Credit Directive) or horizontal legislation (e.g., the General Data Protection Regulation) does not provide specific and more detailed rules. In this regard, the Directive is considered to contain a ‘safety net’, in the sense that in the absence of present or future rules regulating the issues covered by the Directive, the latter will apply. Whereas the Directive had clear value added when it entered into force, many of its substantial elements have been taken over by sectoral legislation that has been adopted afterwards, e.g., in the context and aftermath of the financial crisis.
The Commission is presently carrying out an impact assessment to see whether and if so, how, to revise the Directive and launched a consultation in this context.
The EACB (the European Association of Co-operative Banks) has carefully reviewed the public consultation questionnaire published by the European Commission with its Members on the DMFSD. The EACB focused on and provided an answer to part II that focuses on technical aspects of the directive.