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eu banking consultation May 9, 2012

Posted by Bradley in : consultation , trackback

The “High Level Expert Group” on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector began a consultation nearly a week ago which has now hit the Commission’s “Your Voice in Europe” page. The closing date is June 1. The announcement states that:

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

But whereas the consultation document phrases the questions to banks and to corporate customers as direct questions to the entities themselves, the questions supposedly asked of retail customers are phrased rather differently. For example, one of the questions to corporate customers is:

What are the main banking services and products that you seek from your bank?

There is no such question for retail customers. The document asks corporate customers:

What are your views with respect to structural reform of banking in general and in particular with respect to the structural reform proposals to date (e.g. US Volcker Rule, UK ICB proposal)?

In the retail customers section of the document there is a similar question but it is drafted very differently:

What are the views of retail customers with respect to structural reform of banking in general and in particular with respect to the structural reform proposals to date (e.g. US Volcker Rule, UK ICB proposal)? What structural reforms would be desirable from their point of view?

Retail customers are not interrogated directly, others are to speak on their behalf. And the phrasing of the questions seems to imply that those who wish to speak on behalf of retail customers should only bother responding if they are able to speak about the views and situation of retail customers generally.

Perhaps we should have some low level expert groups on this sort of issue.

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