Cheat sheet: Retail Financial Services

20 February 2016


The Commission published a Green Paper on retail financial services on 10 December 2015. The green paper focuses mainly on two questions: how can industry better access cross-border consumers and how can consumers access products from other member states. The green paper is quite limited in scope as it addresses only cross-border issues experienced mostly by 3% of EU citizens living in another member state than that of their nationality.

However, facilitating the cross-border provision and purchase of financial services could have a positive effect on prices, comparability, and competition for everyone.

Key risks

Retail services are key for the EU economy. As the EU Commission report, “they account for 11.1% of the EU’s GDP and provide around 33 million jobs (almost 15% of total employment in the EU). Over 6 million companies in the retail sector act as intermediaries between thousands of product suppliers and millions of consumers. E-commerce has increased the potential market for retailers and the scope of products available to consumers”. With the rise of the internet, the next legislation regarding retail services must make sure that SMEs and the public interest will be protected.


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