The Regulation of Retail Investment Services in the EU: Towards the Improvement of Investor Rights?

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Despite the fact that a substantial body of European Community (EC) law already exists to protect retail investors, the markets in retail investment services and products in the EU remain fragmented. Moreover, the recent financial crisis has undermined investor confidence in financial markets more generally, and “packaged” retail investment products (PRIP), such as investment funds or life insurance policies, in particular. To rebuild retail investor confidence in PRIP by empowering retail investors to make active use of their rights, in 2009 the European Commission proposed to extend the provisions of the 2004 Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) to PRIP. Is the MiFID, however, fit for the purpose which the Commission has in mind? This contribution explores to what extent the MiFID actually confers rights on retail investors and empowers them to make use of these rights. The author concludes that investor rights and remedies should be taken more seriously when making European financial services law. The current overhaul of the EC legal framework for the provision of investment services provides a good opportunity to do so.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-424
JournalJournal of Consumer Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • EC securities regulation, retail investment services, investor protection, investor rights, MiFID

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