Ten countries in the European Union have yet to implement the Insurance Mediation Directive despite ...
Ten countries in the European Union have yet to implement the Insurance Mediation Directive despite a deadline of 15 January 2005. This means IFAs in these countries have not had to comply with the more onerous disclosure requirements of the directive.
The directive has not been implemented in Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal or Spain. Failing to implement it may make it harder for advisers to operate cross-border in these markets.
IFAs could find it more difficult to recommend non-regulated products under the directive, because if they are independent they must demonstrate they have chosen the most appropriate product for their clients and explain why it has been selected.
As part of the new disclosure requirements, advisers have to carry out fact-finds to prove they know their clients and send "reason why letters".
Eric Winter, head of European marketing at Clerical Medical, said Spain is expected to implement the directive shortly while Italy will follow early in 2006. Germany was scheduled to introduce the directive in mid-2006 but this may be delayed by the change in government. He added that Spanish regulators have received many inquiries from UK-based IFAs looking to advise expatriate investors.
He said: "We have tried to anticipate the directive in the markets where we operate. In Germany, for example, we have introduced a new planning tool to help advisers to choose the most appropriate product for clients."
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