This month also saw progress towards the adoption of separate EU-wide rules on the distance selling of financial services.
We reported on consultations by the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority (the "FSA") to implement the e-Commerce Directive in the financial services arena. Those consultations concluded in early May, and the Treasury has now published secondary legislation. The new rules are due to come into force some time this summer. At the time of writing the exact date is still not known, since this will depend on the implementation date of the more general e-Commerce Regulations 2002.
Progress towards EU Directive on distance selling of financial services
It is worth mentioning that on 13th May separate new EU legislation on financial services also came a step closer. The European Parliament approved the Council's Common Position on the draft Directive on Distance Marketing of Consumer Financial Services. These new rules, once implemented, will harmonise Member States' laws on pre-contractual information requirements and cooling off periods and will introduce new measures to combat inertia selling and unsolicited marketing in the financial services arena. This new Directive still requires formal adoption by the European Council, after which Member States will have a further period (usually 18 months) in which to implement the new regime. For more information on online financial services, please contact Graeme Levy or Andy Sunderland. The information contained in this bulletin is intended as a general overview of the subjects featured and detailed specialist advice should always be taken before taking or refraining from taking any action.