Policy portal Retail & Inclusion

Access to financial services for individuals is a prerequisite for social inclusion, a decent standard of living during working and retirement age and protection in case of unexpected life events. Unaffordable offers and discriminatory practices are some of the barriers preventing many citizens from accessing the basic financial services needed to participate in modern life.

EU policymakers have a responsibility to remove these barriers and make the retail financial services market safe and fair. Rules are also needed to help citizens avoid over-indebtedness and offer a way out for those who find themselves in this difficult situation. And all of this must extend to the digital world (See also “digitalisation” under “Digital Finance“).

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25 PUBLICATIONS

Policy brief

Root causes of household over-indebtedness

Without strong consumer protection legislation and proper public social security systems, the risk of financial difficulty is left to chance, making people vulnerable to predatory schemes. In this short policy brief, Finance Watch takes a closer look at the root causes of over-indebtedness and highlights the steps policymakers can take to better protect households across Europe.
Root causes of household over-indebtedness
Position paper

Factsheet – Creditworthiness assessment for small loans: the key to prevent consumer over-indebtedness

Small loans are high risk for consumers, in particular for vulnerable consumers. Sound creditworthiness assessments are therefore necessary for small loans. This factsheet co-published by a European Coalition of NGOs on the Consumer Credit Directive provides recommendations for a sound creditworthiness assessment for small loans.
Factsheet – Creditworthiness assessment for small loans: the key to prevent consumer over-indebtedness
Report

Report – Tackling causes of over-indebtedness in the EU consumer credit market

This report presents the findings of the study as well as detailed policy recommendations for the CCD review.
Consultation response

Amending the Mortgage Credit Directive to address consumer protection issues, digitalisation and green mortgages

Amending the Mortgage Credit Directive to address consumer protection issues, digitalisation and green mortgages
Consultation response

Consultation response on the Green Paper on Ageing

Consultation response on the Green Paper on Ageing
Report

A Wrinkle in the Process: Financial Inclusion Barriers in an Ageing Europe – Report

A groundbreaking look at vulnerability among older people in the European Union and the barriers they face that limit their access to basic, mainstream-market financial services and products appropriate to their needs in their communities.
Report

Consumer credit market malpractices uncovered

An in-depth study of consumer credit markets in Spain, Romania and Ireland and what it means for the Consumer Credit Directive (CCD) review
Position paper

Responsible lending and privacy protection: A consumer perspective

On 19 October 2020, Finance Watch has published a discussion paper on ways that EU policymakers could help to reduce irresponsible consumer lending in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis and data misuse following recent changes in the EU payments industry.
Responsible lending and privacy protection: A consumer perspective
Consultation response

Consultation response on the New European Consumer Agenda

Consultation response on the New European Consumer Agenda
Report

Report “Basic Financial Services”

Finance Watch released a report which identifies a shortlist of basic financial products and services that should be made available to all European citizens to help combat financial and social exclusion.
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