Feedback on proposed directive regarding alternative dispute resolution and proposed regulation regarding online dispute resolution

2012-01-10 | Comments on proposals

Finansinspektionen views positively the proposal that all EU countries establish bodies for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumers.

Finansinspektionen's views

Directive

Finansinspektionen views positively the proposal that all EU countries establish bodies for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for consumers. FI's assessment is that the the presence of ARN, the Swedish dispute resolution body, on the financial market has contributed to an improved, more unified interpretation of the rules and that standards for generally accepted practices have been established within the industry.

FI notes that the scope of the proposed directive (point 7) states that dispute resolution shall apply to all commercial industries. From a Swedish perspective, this would entail an expansion of ARN's operational sphere. If the authority's resources are not increased, we see a risk that the efforts within the existing sphere would be diluted. In particular, within the banking industry, we are seeing a rapid rise in the number of complaints regarding financial advice. This is an important issue for a growing portion of consumers, and abuse in this area can have significant consequences for individuals. FI would like to highlight that it is important that the authority is adequately funded.

Regulation

Finansinspektionen also views positively a shared online platform that would make it easier for consumers and businesses to find the right alternative dispute resolution body in cases of cross-border e-trade and contribute to a fast, inexpensive resolution of a dispute. FI also agrees that this body can contribute to an expected rapid rise in cross-border trade.

However, the targets (point 1.4.4 Financing Overview, page 25) that the number of consumers willing to buy online from another Member State should increase by 20 percent and that the number of businesses willing to sell online in another Member State should increase by 10 percent by 2020 are remarkably low, particularly since cross-border e-trade at this point in time is low. Realistically, trade should increase by several hundred per cent.

FI's comments in their entirety are available in the document below (in Swedish).

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