European Commission - Press release
EU consumers rate poorly financial services and fuel markets
Brussels, 21 October 2011 – Financial services, investments (including pensions and securities), mortgages and real estate services are the markets which are the most likely to be failing consumers across the EU, according to the latest Consumer Markets Scoreboard. Among goods markets, second-hand cars and fuels have the poorest ratings. As in 2010, services markets continue to underperform, with financial services and network services all below average. Electricity supply and fuels have deteriorated most in comparison with 2010. The Scoreboard’s main index ranks the consumer markets, in terms of consumer trust, satisfaction, the ease of comparing offers, problems and complaints. Consumer choice, the ease of switching service providers or tariffs, and price differences between countries are also monitored. The purpose is to identify markets that appear most at risk of malfunctioning for follow-up studies, which analyse problems in depth and identify policy responses. Based on the latest findings, the European Commission will probe the consumer credit and fuel markets.
Health and Consumer Commissioner John Dalli said: "The value of the Single Market for consumers is measured by what it delivers for them in terms of quality, greater choice, lower prices, transparency and satisfaction. Thanks to the Scoreboard, we can see where this does not seem to be happening. The process is about evidence-based policy to real problems that consumers face in the Single Market. Businesses that respond to consumer needs will be rewarded by consumer choice”.
The annual Consumer Markets Scoreboard ranks 51 services and goods markets, covering more than 60% of household budgets, to see which are likely to be failing consumers across the EU.
The full report, including national ranking results, can be found at:
As a follow-up, the European Commission will launch two market studies on:
For many of the other problematic markets, in-depth studies have already been carried out (e.g. for electricity, retail financial services) or are in progress (e.g. for internet provision) -- see MEMO/11/718 for details.
The main purpose of the Consumer Markets Scoreboard is to identify markets that appear most at risk of malfunctioning for consumers, for follow-up studies which analyse problems in depth and identify policy responses.
The main index used by the Scoreboard to rank 51 markets is the Market Performance Indicator (MPI). The index is composed of consumer survey results concerning: (1) trust in retailers/suppliers (2) overall satisfaction (3) the ease of comparing offers (4) consumer problems and complaints. Separately, the Scoreboard also monitors switching suppliers and tariffs (for 14 service markets), consumer choice on each market, and price differences between EU countries for over 100 goods and services.