Brussels, 8 October 2009
Distance marketing of financial services: Commission launches infringement proceedings against Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands
Today the European Commission sent letters of formal notice to Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands for inadequate transposition of Directive 2002/65/EC concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services into their national law.
Directive 2002/65/EC concerning the distance marketing of consumer financial services, grants consumers, amongst other things, the right to receive certain pre-contractual information as well as the right to withdraw, in principle, from a contract with a service provider within 14 calendar days.
The Commission considers that the above-mentioned Member States have failed in their national laws transposing this Directive to sufficiently protect consumer's rights. For example, it would appear that, Italian consumers who withdraw from the contract have a shorter period for returning any sums or property received than provided for in the Directive. In Spain, contrary to the Directive, consumers do not seem to be able to withdraw from contracts concerning a personal pension scheme.
The six Member States concerned have two months to reply to the letters of formal notice. If the Commission does not receive a reply or if the observations presented by the national authorities are not satisfactory, the Commission may issue reasoned opinions (the second stage in infringement proceedings) and may eventually refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.