The Council has adopted a directive concerning financial services contracts concluded at a distance. This is the last step in the decision-making procedure.
The text adopted simplifies existing legislation, increases consumer protection, and creates a level playing field for financial services concluded online, via telephone or through other forms of remote marketing.
Today we adapt EU rules on the financial services to the digital age. From now on, consumers in the single market will be better protected when accessing new financial products and services from their phones or their computers.
Alberto Garzón Espinosa, acting Spanish Minister for Consumer Affairs
Digital market, digital protection
The directive adopted repeals the existing legislation from 2002 and introduces new provisions for financial services contracts concluded at a distance as an additional chapter of the consumer rights directive (CRD) which protect consumers in all kinds of commercial practices. It simplifies the legislative framework, and certain articles of the CRD will also apply to financial services sold at a distance.
The final text of the directive:
- clarifies the scope of application and the safety net-feature for financial services
- improves the rules on information disclosure and modernises pre-contractual information obligations (leaving it open for member states to impose stricter national rules in this area)
- establishes the right of consumers to request human intervention on sites that display automatic information tools like robo-advice or chatbots
- facilitates the right of withdrawal from contracts concluded at a distance through an easy-to-find ‘withdrawal function’ in the provider’s interface
- introduces additional protection for consumers from dark patterns (a user interface designed to trick users into doing unplanned things, like buying products they were not looking for)
The review of the 2002 directive on distance marketing of consumer financial services is part of the Commission’s new consumer agenda, which was supported by the Council in its related conclusions on 21 February 2021.
Following the Council’s approval of the European Parliament’s position, the legislative act has been adopted.
After being signed by the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council, the directive will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication.