As part of their respective mandates to protect investors, depositors and policy holders, the three European Supervisory Authorities, the EBA, ESMA and EIOPA are concerned about the practices used by some financial institutions to comply with enhanced prudential requirements under the CRD/R IV, the pending BRRD, and Solvency 2, as well as the ongoing EBA stress test and the ECB’s comprehensive assessment. These practices include financial institutions selling to their own client base financial instruments that they themselves have issued and that are eligible to comply with the above requirements. This practice may breach a number of rules governing the conduct of these institutions.However, the ‘loss bearing’ features of many of these products mean that consumers are exposed to significant risks that do not exist for other financial instruments. For example, investors are more likely to be subject to bail-in; and the absence of harmonised structures, trigger points and loss absorption makes it difficult for investors to understand and compare the products. Each product needs to be assessed as a unique offering, which may be particularly challenging for retail investors.The three authorities, within their remits, are reminding financial institutions that capitalisation pressures should not affect their ability to comply with existing and future requirements applicable in the European Union for the provision of services to consumers, including investors, depositors and policy holders. It is expected that due to regulatory and market developments, the risks of consumer detriment described here will further increase; this reminder is aimed at preventing this.
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