Press Release  Tuesday, Jun 20, 2017

FPSB Europe Responds to European Commission’s Consultation on Fintech in the European Financial Sector

Response Represents Combined View of Eight Financial Planning
Professional Bodies in Europe and Neighboring Countries

DENVER, CO – 20 JUNE 2017 – European member organizations of Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB), the global standards-setting body for financial planning and owner of the international CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification program outside the United States, have responded to the European Commission’s public consultation on Fintech: A More Competitive and Innovative European Financial Sector. The response, developed collaboratively by FPSB Europe, represents the perspectives of eight premier financial planning bodies:

  • Österreichischer Verband Financial Planners (Austria)
  • Association Francaise des Conseils en Gestion de Patrimoine Certifiés (France)
  • Financial Planning Standards Board Deutschland (Germany)
  • Financial Planning Standards Board Ireland
  • Federatie Financieel Planners (The Netherlands)
  • Swiss Financial Planners Organization (Switzerland)
  • Finansal Planlama Derneği (Turkey)
  • Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (United Kingdom)

The response also drew upon information from FPSB’s 2016 Fintech and the Future of Financial Planning report which includes research findings and insights from more than 1,700 CFP professionals in 29 territories around the world, as well as from FPSB member organizations in 26 territories.

“FPSB Europe’s comments support the findings of our 2016 research, which led FPSB to start a global conversation on fintech among FPSB member organizations representing more than 170,000 CFP professionals around the world,” said Noel Maye, FPSB CEO. “Many financial planners told us that they have already begun to embrace fintech as a complement to their practices. Our discussions since have led us to see fintech-enabled financial planning as the process of providing human-led financial advice in a digitally powered way.”

Some highlights of FPSB Europe’s response are as follows:

  • Fintech tools should be held to the same regulatory standard as human advisers. Financial planners and advisers who use fintech tools should be able to understand how the technology works, its strengths and limitations, and what appropriate controls and process should be in place to ensure suitable client outcomes.
  • Consumer protection challenges/risks exist around how client data, once gathered, may be used by the fintech platform or product provider. Regulators should consider restricting the use of such data for the specific purpose requested, and insist that clients be informed about any potential consequences of submitting their data.
  • Allowing data aggregators access to clients’ full portfolios (with the correct permissions) could be of great assistance to consumers, who would be able to see their entire financial picture in a dashboard format, and to holistic financial planners, who take into account all aspects of a client’s financial holdings.
  • The European Commission’s principles of technological neutrality, proportionality and integrity are appropriate, but should be supplemented by an additional principle of protecting clients’ best interests. The best interests principle would demonstrate to the public that the European Commission intends to evaluate fintech tools through a consumer-centric lens.

“FPSB Europe believes that fintech could have a profound effect on the way consumers access financial advice, as well as on financial planning practitioners’ efficiency, accuracy, and compliance,” said Marc van Poeteren, Chairperson of FPSB Europe and Chairman of Federatie Financieel Planners in The Netherlands. “Although it is still in an early stage, fintech – properly applied and regulated – could make a positive difference in the financial lives of all Europeans.”

FPSB Europe’s complete response to the European Commission is available here.

About FPSB

FPSB manages, develops and operates certification, education and related programs for financial planning organizations to benefit the global community by establishing, upholding and promoting worldwide professional standards in financial planning. FPSB demonstrates its commitment to excellence with the marks of professional distinction – CFP, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP Logo mark – which it owns outside the United States. FPSB has a nonprofit member organization in the following 26 territories: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. At the end of 2016, there were 170,101 CFP professionals worldwide. For more, visit fpsb.org.

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