Table of Contents

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law

Research Handbooks in European Law series

Edited by Christian Twigg-Flesner

Research Handbook on EU Consumer and Contract Law takes stock of the evolution of this fascinating area of private law to date and identifies key themes for future development of the law and research agendas. The Handbook is divided into three parts: first, authors examine a range of cross-cutting issues relevant to both consumer and contract law. The second part discusses specific topics on EU Consumer Law, and the final part focuses on a number of important subjects which remain current for the development of EU Contract Law.

Chapter 14: Financial services and consumer protection

Vanessa Mak

Subjects: law - academic, consumer law, european law, law of obligations


The term 'financial services' in EU consumer law is broad. It encompasses consumer credit, investment services, banking and payment services, and since recently also retail mortgage credit. Although regulation is focused on such specific areas and therefore comes across as scattered, some common threads can be discerned that explain and connect the EU's policy in financial services law. This chapter will discuss the EU's financial services regulation by exploring its legal framework, its goals (access to finance and substantive protection) and the detailed rules in two selected areas: credit and investment. It is noteworthy that this chapter is published at a time when European financial policies are strongly influenced by austerity measures taken in response to the financial crisis of 2008. Many of the EU Member States' economies are still either in recession or recovering from its effects. Overall, the attitude towards EU cooperation and the financial markets has taken a turn towards greater control of risks. This policy change has a direct effect on consumer access to financial services and on policies relating to consumer protection. Throughout the chapter, note will be made of initiatives that are taken in order to enhance the governance of the financial markets. A question running through the chapter is whether such strategies should be adopted as a long-term goal for the EU retail financial market.

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