An overview of issues facing 2019-2024 European Union policymakers tied to CFA Institute recommendations and research.
Capital Markets Union
The main opportunities for the capital markets union (CMU) initiative are centered around: small and midsize enterprise financing; making public markets more attractive; cross-border retail markets; and systemic risks stemming from the asset management sector.
- Focus on policies and incentives and products that will encourage long-term investments by savers.
- Focus policies on the mechanisms that could be necessary to ensure an efficient market for independent research.
- Monitor the impact of regulatory measures on smaller firms.
- Continue to set a clear focus on investor protection by enhancing standardized disclosure requirements.
- Consider the appropriate mechanism required to grant the European Securities and Markets Authority more direct supervisory powers over practices and rules pertaining to cross-border distribution of investment funds.
The main issues for fintech are an increased likelihood of flows resulting from automated financial advice, crating behavioral biases in clients; and lack of regulation for crypto assets, leading to market manipulation and inefficiency.
- Introduce a European framework for crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending.
- Facilitate and support creation of innovation resources and intermediaries for start-ups looking to use financial technology for capital raising.
- Evaluate the need to regulate crypto assets and further the discussion as to whether they constitute financial instruments.
The main issues for sustainable finance are the lack of agreed-on definitions; dissimilar training for investors; lack of quality and comparability of ESG data; the voice of the minority shareholders; variable regulatory and legislative approached for dealing with integration of ESG issues in investment analysis and decisions.
- We advocate for strong standards on how investors should include governance issues in investment analysis.
- We encourage promotion of greater board accountability to minority shareholder and discourage the practice of differential ownership.
- We support the work done by the European Commission’s Technical Expert Group and its technical report on EU taxonomy.
Value for Money
The main issues for retail investors are these: there remains insufficient understanding of how investment products are sold and fees paid; exclusion of the presentation of past performance information; PRIIPs (Packaged retail investment and insurance products) regulation regarding its scope of application remains unclear.
There is one main issue for institutional investors: MiFID II rules may have unexpected negative impact on the quality and coverage of research.
- Enhance consistency of definitions and rules.
- Focus policies on the quality and meaningfulness of the information received by investors.
- Look closer at potential unintended impacts of MiFID II rules.
- Clarify the scope of application of the PRIIPs Regulation.