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Reform Support

Supporting reforms to develop well-regulated, stable and competitive financial markets

Marketing practices and ageing populations to avoid financial misselling 

The Commission supports French authorities in preventing potential risks of misselling financial products and services to elderly people.

The project builds on a previous study carried out by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR) and the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), the two French National Competent Authorities, and should result in actions to be put in place by the financial sector to reduce these risks.

Context 

Older people may be particularly vulnerable to financial misselling. Financial digitalisation further increases this problem, as elderly people may be less tech-savy and there are fewer branches where they can seek advice. Detection systems of vulnerable positions are not sufficiently institutionalised and solutions mobilised by the financial sector are heterogeneous.

This project fits into the legal framework set out by the Markets in Financial Instruments 2 Directive (MiFID 2) and the Insurance Distribution Directives (IDD), which require financial institutions to act honestly, fairly and professionally in accordance with the best interests of their customers.

Support delivered 

During two years, the Paris-Dauphine University realised and implemented the project, performing quantitative and qualitative surveys within financial institutions. Then, marketing practices towards elderly people as well as the knowledge collected by financial institutions’ advisors and compliance departments were analysed to define specific recommendations to protect these consumers.

Results achieved 

The results of the academic surveys and studies enable the ACPR and the AMF to adjust and fine-tune, from a sociological point of view, targeted measures and best practices to be put in place with a view to strengthening the vigilance of financial providers. This should foster adequate and sound marketing practices towards vulnerable elderly.

Thanks to a greater awareness among European and international supervisors and policy measures aiming at a better protection of seniors, vulnerable elderly people remain able to make informed decisions about purchasing financial products and services.