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EFAMA in call for pan-European long-term savings product

A so-called pan-European long-term savings product is needed to help Europeans plan for retirement.

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The call for such a product came last week at an event sponsored the European Fund and Asset Management Association (EFAMA).

The issue of long-term savings and distribution is among the main policy concerns of EFAMA, following the publication in March of a report on the subject, Revisiting the landscape of European long-term savings: a call for action from the asset management industry.

In a statement, EFAMA said it was European asset management industry’s aim “to provide a solution” to what it calls the problem of Europe’s long-term savings systems being unsustainable in their current form.

“European consumers need a product that is simple, cost-effective and transparent to encourage long-term savings,” EFAMA said.

“Effective distribution and advice on savings products across Europe are major challenges that must be addressed, from a regulatory, supervisory and commercial standpoint.”

Some countries, including Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Sweden, have set up mandatory defined contribution savings schemes for their populations, while Iceland and Switzerland have made it mandatory for employers to set up plans for their employees. Some experts believe that greater participation by citizens at the pan-European level will require the creation of incentives applied consistently across the whole EU.

In its report in March, EFAMA calls for the creation of a personal retirement scheme that it said all product providers should be given equal access to, and which it said would set consistent certification standards across Europe.

Last week’s discussion on the subject was moderated by KPMG partner Tom Brown, with panalists including CESR chairman Eddy Wymeersch; EFAMA president Jean-Baptiste de Franssu;  consumer advocates Mick McAteer and Guillaume Prache; and chairman of JPMorgan’s International Business, Treasury and Securities Services Marc Garvin.

Shareholder engagement, another industry concern, was also discussed.

EFAMA is the European investment management industry’s trade association and represents businesses holding approximately €11trn in assets under management through its 26 member associations and 44 corporate members.
 

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