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IP/06/575

Brussels, 4 May 2006

'Fin-Focus': new Commission newsletter on what EU financial services policies mean for consumers

The European Commission launches today a new publication on financial services, Fin-Focus. This online newsletter highlights issues and events in financial services of particular relevance to consumers and users.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Charlie McCreevy said: "With the launch of the Fin-Focus newsletter, we are demonstrating our commitment to increasing awareness among EU citizens of the vital policy developments in financial services being made at EU level that affect them in their everyday lives. By doing so, we hope to improve further the dialogue between the Commission and consumers, and gain greater input from them into our policy making".

In order to reach as wide an audience as possible, Fin-Focus is available in all 20 official EU languages, and is prepared in plain, jargon-free language. In this way, it is suitable for reproduction in consumer magazines, local press and other publications. It highlights issues of particular relevance to consumers and to other users of financial services, such as retail investors and SMEs. In this first edition, the subjects covered include bank accounts, consumer and mortgage credit and payments; issues with which citizens are confronted on a daily basis. Attention is also drawn to upcoming events and consultations, in order to allow consumers/users and their representatives to allocate their time and resources efficiently.

The publication of Fin-Focus is one of a series of steps aimed at consumers and users of financial services, as set out in the Commission's White Paper on Financial Services 2005-2010 (see IP/05/1529). Another initiative is the establishment of a permanent group of consumer representatives from across Europe. This group, the Financial Services Consumer Group, is being established as a working group of the existing European Consumer Consultative Group and will have its first meeting on 20 June 2006. Here too, the members of the group, drawn from consumer associations at Member State and EU level, will discuss those financial services issues of most direct relevance to consumers.
More information on the European Commission's general policy in financial services is available at:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/finances/index_en.htm


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