The Financial Services Consumer Panel (FSCP) has launched a four pillars of consumer protection framework aimed at enabling more effective assessment of EU legislation, standards and supervision.
The FSCP believes there is now a huge opportunity to put consumers at the heart of the legislative and supervisory agenda throughout Europe, a key driver of financial services reform.
It has set out four principles - access, value, redress and policing - which could be used to test any new regulatory or legislative measures in order to enshrine the consumer perspective in new and developing legislation.
Under the principles, the FSCP wants to see universal and "real" access to financial services.
It also wants financial services to offer value to the customer, with charges and costs that are fair, transparent and proportionate.
Consumers must also have practical access to binding redress, no matter where they are located, and policing of the financial services landscape must be effective with tough enforcement and appropriate penalties.
Adam Phillips, chair of the FSCP, said: "There is unprecedented legislative activity with no less than six key pieces of legislation currently in progress, touching on fundamental savings, investment and insurance products.
"With such a vast array of legislation, we believe it is vital to enshrine consumer protection principles. We have, therefore, devised what we consider the key components of a new consumer protection framework.
"We envisage our four pillars of consumer protection stimulating a debate on consistent thinking on consumer protection across the EU.
"There needs to be a dialogue involving consumer bodies, legislators, regulators and supervisory bodies to ensure that consumers get a fair deal and that their rights are safeguarded and promoted."
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