The Internal Market, Tourism and Consumer Affairs Council – one of the swarm of committees involved in the European Commission lawmaking process – on Thursday agreed common rules for distance selling of contracts relating to financial services, as incorporated in the Proposed Directive on Distance Selling of Consumer Financial Services.

But to the dismay of FEDMA (Federation of European Direct Marketing Associations) the Council has decided that all such sales contracts should be governed by the law of the country of destination – rather than country of origin as advocated by FEDMA.

Says FEDMA government affairs director Axel Tandberg: “FEDMA is strongly opposed to the country-of-destination principle since this will create obstacles to a genuine Single Market for Financial Services and hinder the healthy development of e-commerce in Europe. In order to keep consistency with the EU Directives on E-Commerce and Distance Selling, it is essential to apply the country-of-origin principle also to contracts in the financial services industry.”

The Council also decided that EU member states may apply their national rules in accordance with the directive, to service providers established in another member state that had yet to enact the directive. FEDMA considers this potentially to be trade protectionism.

The directive in its final form will be finally adopted by the Council once the EU’s elected body – the European Parliament – has concluded its second reading in the framework of the so-called "co-decision procedure".

News source: FEDMA