Who We Are
ERFF was set up in 2015 in response to the European Commission’s stated ambition to expand the dialogue on opening up retail financial markets in Europe and to engage with all stakeholders.
Today, we support the goals of the Commission’s Action Plan on consumer financial services, published in March 2017, and its related work on FinTech, digitalisation, Capital Markets Union (CMU), and connected topics such as cybersecurity and sustainable finance.
How We Differ
We differ from other similar EU financial fora in 3 main ways:
- Our membership is small. This allows maximum opportunity for input and interaction by members. It also maintains a level of informality allowing trust and relationships to grow among the membership and with key stakeholders including with EU policymakers. Our size enables ERFF to stay flexible so that we can adapt our strategy and activities as necessary
- ERFF welcomes all stakeholders around one table – consumer, business and policymakers. Although funded mainly by business members, we are very consumer-focused. Consumer representatives are always welcome to join our events for FREE. Some of the policymakers we have engaged with are the European Commission, European Parliament, EU Council Presidencies, European Economic and Social Committee, EU supervisors including the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority, the European Data Protection Supervisor, the European Data Protection Board, national and EU consumer associations, both pan-EU such as BEUC and Finance Watch, and national associations. Having everyone around one table in turns makes ERFF more useful for consultation and engagement with EU policymakers
- ERFF focuses on all aspects of the retail financial sector from traditional products and services eg banking, mortgages, insurance to wider private client retail investment side including pensions. Our range of EU policy focus covers not simply the EU consumer financial services Action Plan but also linked areas such as sustainable finance, CMU and the Digital Single Market, including FinTech.
ERFF’s objectives are to:
- Provide an informal platform where all stakeholders, consumers, business (incumbents and newcomers) and policymakers, can meet, discuss, inform, share experiences, find solutions and build trust, relationships and consensus around the EU retail financial services policy agenda.
- Work closely with EU policymakers on shaping the future of EU retail financial services including the Commission Action Plan on consumer financial services and related work on FinTech, sustainable finance and CMU.
- Foster a greater understanding of the nature and needs of the EU retail financial sector particularly those of consumers, taking account of the varied EU Member State cultures and traditions and how they influence customer expectations and requirements
- Explore the opportunities and challenges presented by digital technology and FinTech for customers and business in the retail financial sector in Europe
- Enhance overall transparency in retail financial services in Europe
- Help keep Europe competitive and innovative vis à vis the rest of the world