(Proposal) Directive (EU) .../... of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directives 2009/65/EC, 2009/138/EC, 2011/61/EU, 2014/65/EU and (EU) 2016/97 as regards the Union retail investor protection rules
Dansk departementsnotat offentliggjort 26.7.2023
BAKGRUNN (fra Kommisjonsforslaget)
(1) A core objective of the Capital Markets Union is to ensure that consumers can fully benefit from the investment opportunities offered by capital markets. To be able to do so, they must be supported by a regulatory framework that enables them to take investment decisions that correspond to their needs and aims and adequately protects them in the single market. The package of measures under the EU Retail investment strategy seeks to address the identified shortcomings.
(2) Directives (EU) 2009/65/EC, 2009/138/EC, 2011/61/EU, 2014/65/EU and (EU) 2016/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council. are designed to protect retail investors and seek to increase the confidence and ability of retail investors as they make important financial decisions. The Commission’s work to evaluate and assess this framework has identified a number of important problems, including difficulties for retail investors to understand and compare investment offers on the basis of disclosure documentation which is not sufficiently relevant and engaging to help their decision-making. In addition, the Commission’s work pointed to the growing risks related to misleading marketing information and practices provided via digital channels and shortcomings in the way products are manufactured and distributed that may result in unjustifiably high levels of costs for retail investors. The Commission’s work also pointed to risks of bias in the investment advice process.
(3) Third party payments, such as fees, commissions or any monetary or non-monetary benefits paid to or received by investment firms and insurance undertakings and intermediaries by or from persons other than the client or customer, also termed as ‘inducements’, play a significant role in the distribution of retail investment products in the Union. The existing rules designed to manage conflicts of interests in Directives (EU) 2014/65 and (EU) 2016/97, including restrictions on and transparency around the payments of inducements, have not proven sufficiently effective in mitigating consumer detriment and have led to different levels of retail investor protection across product segments and distribution channels. It is therefore necessary to further strengthen the investor protection framework to ensure that retail clients’ best interests are protected uniformly across the Union. In light of the potential disruptive impact caused by the introduction of a full prohibition of inducements, it is appropriate to have a staged approach and first strengthen the requirements around the payment and receipt of inducements to address the potential conflicts of interest and ensure better protection of retail investors and, at a second stage, to review the effectiveness of the framework, and propose alternative measures in line with Better Regulation rules, including a potential ban on inducements, if appropriate.
(4) In order to remove any consumer detriment as a consequence of the payment and receipt of inducements for non-advised sales, it is appropriate to prohibit the payment and receipt of such inducements. In the case of Directive (EU) 2014/65, such prohibition would cover the execution or reception and transmission of orders and in the case of Directive (EU) 2016/97, non-advised sales. To avoid restricting issuers’ ability to raise funding, that prohibition should not apply to payments in relation to underwriting and placement services provided to an issuer, where the investment firm also provides an execution of order or reception and transmission of order service to an end-investor. Furthermore, investment advice is often combined with the provision of an execution or reception and transmission of order service. In such cases, the main service being investment advice, the prohibition should not apply to the execution or reception and transmission of order service relating to one or more transactions of that client covered by that advice. Minor non-monetary benefits which do not exceed 100 euros or are of a scale and nature that they could not be judged to impair compliance with the duty to act in the best interest of the retail investor should be allowed, to the extent that they are clearly disclosed.
(5) In order to ensure that retail customers are not misled, it is important to stipulate in Directive (EU) 2016/97 that, in line with existing rules in Directive (EU) 2014/65, insurance intermediaries that indicate to their customers that they provide advice on an independent basis, should not accept inducements for such advice. This rule should not prevent insurance intermediaries offering advice to customers from accepting inducements, provided that the advice is not presented as independent, customers are informed of the inducements in line with applicable transparency requirements and that other legal requirements, including the requirement to act in the best interest of the customer, are complied with.
(6) The existing safeguards conditioning the payment or receipt of inducements, which under Directive (EU) 2014/65 require that the inducement is designed to enhance the quality of the service to the client, or under Directive (EU) 2016/97 should not have a detrimental effect on the quality of the service to the customer, have not been sufficiently effective in mitigating conflicts of interest. It is therefore appropriate to remove those criteria and introduce a new, common test, both in Directive (EU) 2014/65 and Directive (EU) 2016/97, that further clarifies how financial advisors should apply the principle of acting in the best interest of the client. Financial advisors should base their advice on an appropriate range of financial products. After having identified suitable instruments for their clients, they should recommend the most cost-efficient of similar products to their clients. Furthermore, financial advisors should also systematically recommend at least one product without features that may not be necessary for the achievement of the client’s investment objective, so that retail investors are presented also with alternative and possibly cheaper options to consider. Such features may include, as an example, funds with an investment strategy which implies higher costs, a capital guarantee and structured products with hedging elements. If advisors choose to also recommend a product that carries additional features which carry extra costs to the client or customer, they should explicitly provide the reason for such a recommendation and disclose the extra costs incurred. In the case of insurance-based investment products, advisors should also ensure that the insurance cover included in the product is consistent with the customer’s insurance demands and needs.
(7) The existing requirements on disclosure of inducements should be further strengthened to ensure that retail investors understand the general concept of inducements, the potential for conflict of interest, as well as the impact of inducements on the overall costs and expected returns.
(8) In order to enable the development of independent advice at a reasonable cost, independent advisors should be allowed to provide advice to retail investors on well-diversified, non-complex and cost-efficient products based on a more limited set of data collected for the suitability assessment. The scope of such advice should be clearly disclosed to retail investors in good time before the provision of the advice. Given the diversified nature of the advised products, independent financial advisors should not be required to obtain and assess information from the clients relating to their knowledge and experience or existing portfolios.
(9) In order to assess the effectiveness of these measures, three years after the date of entry into force of this Directive and after having consulted the European Securities and Markets Authority (‘ESMA’) and European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (‘EIOPA’), the Commission should prepare a report on the effects of third-party payments on retail investments which, where necessary, should be accompanied by proposals to further strengthen the framework.
(10) The level of costs and charges associated with investment and insurance-based investment products can have a significant impact on investment returns, something that may not always be evident for retail investors. To ensure that products offer Value for Money for retail investors, Member States should ensure that firms authorised under Directive (EU) 2014/65 or Directive (EU) 2016/97 to manufacture or distribute investment products have clear pricing processes that enable a clear identification and quantification of all costs charged to retail investors and are designed to ensure that the costs and charges that are included in investment products or that are linked to their distribution are justified and proportionate in respect of the characteristics, objectives, strategy and expected performance of the product.
(11) Since the charging structure of the packaged retail investment product is designed by the manufacturer, it is for the manufacturer to assess whether the costs and charges that are included in investment products are justified and proportionate. Building on those assessments, distributors should make similar assessments, so that the costs of distribution and other costs not already included in the manufacturer’s assessment are additionally taken into account.
(12) The pricing process, conducted at both the level of manufacturer and distributor should, as part of the product governance framework, enhance the existing concept that investment products aimed at a particular target market should be designed to bring value to that target market.
(13) To make the pricing process more objective and to equip manufacturers, distributors and competent authorities with a tool allowing for an efficient comparison of costs among investment products from the same product type, both ESMA and EIOPA should develop benchmarks, based on data related to the cost and performance of investment products, which should be taken into consideration by manufacturers and distributors in their pricing processes. If the result of the comparison with a relevant benchmark indicates that the costs and performance for investors are not aligned to the benchmark, the product should not be marketed to retail investors, unless additional testing and further assessments have established that the product nevertheless offers Value for Money to the target market, for example in the case of a product containing additional special features that would be considered relevant for a particular group of investors with identified specific needs and objectives, but which are not reflected in the description of the group of investment products for which the benchmark was developed.
(14) To assist manufacturers and distributors in their assessments, the Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts to specify the criteria to be used in determining whether costs and performance are justified and proportionate.
(15) To enable ESMA and EIOPA to develop reliable benchmarks, based on reliable data, manufacturers and distributors of investment products should be required to report necessary data to competent authorities, for onward transmission to ESMA and EIOPA. To limit, to the greatest extent possible, costs related to the new reporting obligations and to avoid unnecessary duplication, data sets should as far as possible be based on disclosure and reporting obligations stemming from EU law. ESMA and EIOPA should develop regulatory technical standards to determine the data sets, data standards and methods and formats for the information to be reported.
(16) Certain manufacturers of financial instruments that fall under the definition of packaged retail products in accordance with Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 1286/2014 may not be subject to the reporting obligation laid down in art. 16-a(2), or any other equivalent reporting obligation. In such cases, an investment firm that offers or recommends such financial instruments should report to their home competent authorities details of costs and charges and characteristics of these products. The reporting obligations covering the above data, established in UCITSD and AIFMD regulatory package, should be considered equivalent.
(17) In view of the extent of diversity of retail investment product offerings, the development of benchmarks by ESMA and EIOPA should be an evolutionary process, beginning with the investment products most commonly purchased by retail investors and progressively building on the experience gathered over time in order to broaden coverage and refine their quality.
(18) Directives 2009/65/EC and 2011/61/EU require alternative investment funds (AIFs) and undertakings for the collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) management companies to act with due skill, care and diligence in the best interests of the investment fund they manage and of their investors. AIFs and UCITS management companies should therefore prevent undue costs from being charged to investment funds and their investors. AIFs and UCITS management companies should be required to establish a sound pricing process which should comprise the identification, analysis and review of costs charged, directly or indirectly, to investment funds or their unit holders, and thus borne by investors. Costs should be considered to be due if they comply with UCITS and AIFs pre-contractual documents, are necessary to their functioning, and are borne by investors in a fair way.
(19) UCITS and AIFs management companies should compensate investors where undue costs have been charged, including where costs have been miscalculated to the detriment of investors, and inform the competent authorities, financial auditors of the investment funds and their managers, and the depositary of those funds thereof. To promote better enforcement and achieve concrete results for retail investors, harmonisation of Member States' administrative and sanctioning powers is necessary. The obligation to compensate investors should be added as a possible administrative measure and sanction so that this possibility exists in all Member States.
(20) The pricing process under Directives 2009/65/EC and 2011/61/EU should ensure that costs borne by retail investors are justified and proportionate to the characteristics of the product, and in particular to the investment objective and strategy, level of risk and expected returns of the funds, so that UCITS and AIFs deliver Value for Money to investors. UCITS and AIFs management companies should remain responsible for the quality of their pricing process. In particular, they should ensure that costs are comparable to market standards, including by comparing the costs of funds with similar investment strategies and characteristics available on publicly available databases. However, to make the pricing process more objective and to equip UCITS and AIFs management companies, and competent authorities with a tool allowing for an efficient comparison of costs among investment products from the same product type, ESMA should develop benchmarks, based on data related to the cost and performance of investment products that ESMA receives as part of the supervisory reporting, against which an assessment of Value for Money can be carried out, in addition to the other criteria included in the pricing process of UCITS and AIFs management companies. Considering the Commission’s priority to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens and to simplify reporting requirements, those benchmarks should build on existing data from public disclosures and supervisory reporting, unless additional data are exceptionally necessary. Investment funds offering poor Value for Money or deviating from ESMA's benchmarks should not be marketed to retail investors unless further assessment has established that the product nevertheless offers Value for Money. The assessment and the measures taken should be documented and provided to competent authorities upon their request.
(21) The Commission should be empowered to adopt delegated acts specifying the minimum requirements for the pricing process to prevent undue costs from being charged to the UCITS, AIFs and their unit-holders, and for carrying out the Value for Money assessment and, where needed, for taking corrective measures where costs are not justified or proportionate to the expected returns of the UCITS and AIFs where available, their level of risk, investment objective and strategy, and for documenting such assessment and measures.
(22) Knowledge and competence of staff are key to ensuring good quality advice. The standards of what is considered necessary vary significantly between advisors operating under Directive 2014/65/EU, Directive (EU) 2016/97 and under non-harmonised national law. To improve the quality of advice and to ensure a level playing field across the EU, strengthened minimum common standards on the necessary knowledge and competence requirements should be laid down. That is particularly relevant given the increased complexity and continuous innovation in the design of financial instruments and insurance-based investment products, and the increasing importance of sustainability-related considerations. Member States should require investment firms, and insurance and reinsurance distributors, to ensure that natural persons giving investment advice on behalf of the investment firm or as insurance intermediaries, and the employees concerned of insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries, possess the knowledge and competence that is necessary to fulfil their obligations. To provide assurance to clients, customers and competent authorities that the level of knowledge and competence of such natural persons and insurance intermediaries and the employees of insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries meet the required standards, such knowledge and competence should be proven by a certificate. Regular professional development and training are important to ensure that the knowledge and competence of staff advising on or selling investment products to clients, or insurance-based investment products to customers, is maintained and updated. To that end, it is necessary to require that natural persons giving investment advice follow a minimum number of hours per year of professional training and development and that they prove the successful completion of such training and development by a certificate.
(23) The increasing provision of investment services via digital means creates new opportunities for retail investors. At the same time, those services enable investment firms and insurance distributors to distribute investment products and services faster and to a wider group of retail investors, which can entail additional risks. Competent authorities should therefore be equipped with powers and procedures that are adequate to promptly address any non-compliance with existing rules, including when provided via digital means and by unauthorised entities. It is therefore appropriate that competent authorities are able to take the necessary actions when they have well-founded reasons to believe that a natural or legal person is providing investment services without being duly authorised or an insurance intermediary or insurance undertaking is distributing insurance-based investment products without being registered or authorised. When those actions concern a natural person, the publication of the decision made by the competent authority should remain subject to the case-by-case assessment of the proportionality of the publication of personal data provided under Article 71(1). The competent authorities should inform ESMA and EIOPA about such behaviour, and ESMA and EIOPA should consolidate and publish all related decisions issued by competent authorities so that such information is available to retail investors for them to be able to identify potential frauds. As regards natural persons, in order to avoid the disclosure of personal information deemed disproportionate by a competent authority when publishing the consolidated list of all decisions issued by competent authorities, ESMA and EIOPA should abstain from disclosing any additional information compared to that disclosed by the competent authority itself.
(24) The provision of cross-border investment services is essential for the development of the Capital Markets Union and proper enforcement of the rules is a key element of the single market. While the home Member State is responsible for the supervision of an investment firm in cases of cross-border provision of services, the single market relies on trust that stems from the adequate supervision of investment firms by the home competent authorities. The principle of mutual recognition requires efficient cooperation between home and host Member States to ensure that a sufficient level of investor protection is maintained. Directive (EU) 2014/65 already provides for a mechanism that allows, under strict conditions and where the home Member State does not take appropriate action, competent authorities of host Member States to take precautionary measures to protect investors. To facilitate cooperation between competent authorities, and to further strengthen the supervisory efforts, that mechanism should be simplified and those competent authorities that observe highly similar or identical behaviours on their territory to those already signalled by another authority should be able to refer to the findings of that initiating authority to initiate a procedure under Article 86 of Directive (EU) 2014/65.
(25) Passport notifications under Directives (EU) 2014/65 and (EU) 2016/97 do not require that information on the scale of the cross-border services is provided. To provide ESMA, EIOPA and competent authorities with a proper understanding of the extent of cross-border services and to enable them to adapt their supervisory activities to those cross-border services, competent authorities should collect information on the provision of such services. Where an investment firm or an insurance intermediary provides services to clients located in another Member State, the investment firm or insurance intermediary should provide its competent authority with basic information on those services. For proportionality purposes, this reporting requirement should not apply to firms serving fewer than fifty clients on a cross-border basis. Competent authorities should make that information available to ESMA and EIOPA, who should in turn make the information accessible to all competent authorities and publish an annual statistical report on cross-border services. To limit, to the greatest extent possible, costs related to the reporting obligations related to cross-border activities and to avoid unnecessary duplication, information should as far as possible be based on existing disclosure and reporting obligations.
(26) To foster supervisory convergence and facilitate cooperation between competent authorities, ESMA should be able to set up cooperation platforms on its own initiative, or at the initiative of one or more competent authorities, where justified concerns exist about investor detriment related to the provision of cross-border investment services, and where such activities are significant with respect to the market of the host Member State. EIOPA, which already has the power to set up collaboration platforms under Article 152b of Directive 2009/138/EC, should have the same power with regard to insurance distribution activities under Directive (EU) 2016/97 since similar cross border supervision issues may occur in insurance distribution. Where there are serious concerns about potential investor detriment and where the supervisory authorities involved in the collaboration platforms cannot reach an agreement on issues related to an investment firm or insurance distributor which is operating on a cross-border basis, ESMA and EIOPA may in accordance with Article 16 of Regulation (EU) No 1095/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EU) No 1094/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council, respectively, issue a recommendation to the competent authority of the home Member State to consider the concerns of the other relevant competent authorities, and to launch a joint on-site inspection together with other competent authorities concerned.
(27) Costs, associated charges and third-party payments linked to investment products can have a great impact on expected returns. The disclosure of such costs associated charges and third-party payments are a key aspect of investor protection. Retail investors should be presented with clear information on costs, associated charges and third-party payments, in good time prior to taking an investment decision. To enhance comparability of such costs, associated charges and third-party payments, such information should be provided in a standardised manner. Regulatory technical standards should specify and harmonise the content and format of disclosures relating to such costs, associated charges and third-party payments including explanations that investment firms should provide to retail clients, in particular as regards the third-party payments.
(28) To further increase transparency, retail clients and customers should receive a periodic overview of their investments. For that reason, firms that provide investment services together with a service of safekeeping and administration of financial instruments, or insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings distributing insurance-based investment products, should provide an annual statement to their retail clients and customers which should include an overview of the products those clients and customers hold, of all costs, associated charges and third-party payments, and of all payments, including dividends and the interests paid and received by the client and customer over a period of one year, together with an overview of the performance of those financial products. That annual statement should enable retail investors to get a better understanding of the impact of those elements on the performance of their portfolio. For investment services that only consist of the reception, transmission and execution of orders, the annual statement should contain all costs, associated charges and third-party payments paid in connection with the services and the financial instruments. For services that only consist of safekeeping and administration of financial instruments, the annual statement should contain all costs, associated charges and payments received by the client in relation to the services and the financial instruments. For all those services, the service provider should provide the retail client upon request with a detailed breakdown of that information per financial instrument. In view of the long-term characteristics of insurance-based investment products which are often used for retirement purposes, the annual statement for such products should contain additional elements, including adjusted individual projections of the expected outcome at the end of the contract, or recommended holding period and a summary of the insurance cover.
(29) Diverging or overlapping disclosure requirements for the distribution of insurance products across different legal acts is a cause for legal uncertainty and unnecessary cost for insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries. It is therefore appropriate to set out all disclosure requirements in one legal act by removing such requirements from Directive 2009/138/EC and by amending Directive (EU) 2016/97. At the same time, building on the experiences gained in the supervision of these requirements, it is appropriate to adapt them so that they are effective and comprehensive. Complementing the already well-established insurance product information document for non-life insurance products, an insurance product information document should also be in place for life insurance products other than insurance-based investment products to provide standardised information. For insurance-based investment products, standard information should be provided by the PRIIPs key information document under Regulation (EU) No 1286/2014.
(30) Changes in the manner by which investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries advertise financial products and services, including the use of influencers, social media and the use of behavioural biases, increasingly affect retail investors’ behaviour. It is therefore appropriate to introduce requirements for marketing communication and practices, which may also include third-party content, design, promotions, branding, campaigning, product placement and reward schemes. Those requirements should in particular specify what the requirement to be fair, clear and not misleading entails in the context of marketing communications and practices. Requirements for a balanced presentation of risks and benefits, and suitability for the intended target audience, should also help to improve the application of investor protection principles. Those requirements should extend to marketing practices, where those practices are used to enhance marketing communications’ reach and effectiveness, or the perception of their relatability, reliability, or comparability. However, to ensure that providers of investment products are not discouraged or prevented from providing financial educational material and from promoting and improving the financial literacy of investors, it should be specified that such materials and activities do not fall under the definition of marketing communication and marketing practice.
(31) To address developments in marketing practices, including the use of third parties for indirect promotion of products or services, and to ensure an appropriate level of investor protection, it is necessary to strengthen the requirements regarding marketing communications. It is therefore necessary to require that marketing communications should enable the easy identification of the investment firm, insurance undertaking or insurance intermediary on whose behalf the marketing communications are made. For retail clients, such marketing communications should also contain essential information presented in a clear and balanced manner, on the products and services on offer. To ensure that investor protection obligations are properly applied in practice, investment firms should have a policy on marketing communications and practices and adequate internal controls and reporting procedures to the investment firms’ management body to ensure compliance with such policy. When developing marketing communications and practices, investment firms, insurance intermediaries and insurance undertakings should take into account the target audience of the target market concerned.
(32) The rapid pace at which marketing communications and practices can be provided and changed, in particular through the use of digital tools and channels, should not prevent the adequate enforcement of applicable regulatory requirements. It is therefore necessary that Member States ensure that national competent authorities have the necessary powers to supervise and where necessary intervene in a timely manner. In addition, competent authorities should have access to the necessary information related to marketing communications and practices to perform their supervisory and enforcement duties and ensure consumer protection. For that purpose, investment firms and insurance undertakings should keep records of marketing communications provided or made accessible to retail clients or potential retail client and any related elements relevant for competent authorities. To capture marketing communications disseminated by third parties, such as for instance influencers and advertisement agencies, it is necessary that details on such third parties’ identity are also recorded. As issues with financial products and services may arise several years after the investment, investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries should keep records of the above information for a period of five years and, where requested by the competent authority, for a period of up to seven years.
(33) The suitability and appropriateness assessments are an essential element of investor protection. Investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries should assess the suitability or appropriateness of investment products and services recommended to or demanded by the client, respectively, on the basis of information obtained from the client. Where necessary, the investment firm, insurance undertaking or insurance intermediary, may also use information that they may have obtained on the basis of other legitimate reasons, including existing relationships with the client or customer. The investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries should explain to their clients and customers the purpose of these assessments and the importance of providing accurate and complete information. They should inform their clients and customers, through standardised warnings, that providing inaccurate and incomplete information may have negative consequences on the quality of the assessment. To ensure harmonisation and efficiency of the different warnings, ESMA and EIOPA should develop regulatory technical standards to specify the content and format of such warnings.
(34) To ensure that, in the context of advised services, due consideration is given to portfolio diversification, financial advisors should be systematically required to consider the needs of such diversification for their clients or customers, as part of the suitability assessments, including on the basis of information provided by those clients or customers on their existing portfolio of financial and non-financial assets.
(35) To ensure that appropriateness tests enable investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries to effectively assess if a financial product or service is appropriate for their clients and customers, those firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries should obtain from them information not only about their knowledge and experience on such financial instruments or services, but for retail clients or customers also about their capacity to bear full or partial losses and their risk tolerance. In the case of a negative appropriateness assessment, an investment firm, insurance undertaking or insurance intermediary distributor should, in addition to the obligation to provide a warning to the client or customer, only be allowed to proceed with the transaction where the client or customer concerned explicitly request so.
(36) A wide diversity of financial instruments can be offered to retail investors, with each financial instrument entailing different levels of risks of potential losses. Retail investors should therefore be able to easily identify investment products that are particularly risky. It is therefore appropriate to require that investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries identify those investment products that are particularly risky and include, in information transmitted to retail clients and customers, including marketing communications, warnings on those risks. To assist investment firms, insurance undertakings and insurance intermediaries in identifying such particularly risky products, ESMA and EIOPA should issue guidelines on how to identify such products, taking due account of the different types of existing investment products and insurance-based investment products. To harmonise such risk warnings across the EU, ESMA and EIOPA should submit technical standards as regards the content and format of such risk warnings. Member States should empower competent authorities to impose the use of risk warnings for specific investment products and, where the use or absence of use of those risk warnings throughout the EU would be inconsistent or would create a material impact in terms of investor protection, ESMA and EIOPA should have the power to impose the use of such warnings by investment firms throughout the EU.
(37) Increasing the level of financial literacy of retail clients and customers, and of prospective retail clients and potential customers, is key to providing those retail clients and customers with a better understanding of how to invest responsibly, to adequately balance the risks and benefits involved with investing. Member States should therefore promote formal and informal learning measures that support the financial literacy of retail clients and customers, and of prospective retail clients and potential customers in relation to responsible investing. Investing responsibly refers to retail investors’ ability to make informed investment decisions in line with their personal and financial objectives, provided that they are aware of the range of available investment products and services, their key features, and the risks and benefits involved with investing, and provided that they understand the investment advice they receive and are able to react to it appropriately. Prospective retail investors should be able to access educational material that supports their financial literacy at all times, and the material should in particular take account of differences in age, education levels and the technological capabilities of retail investors. That is in particular relevant for retail clients and customers that access financial instruments, investment services, and insurance-based investment products for the first time, and those using digital tools.
(38) It is necessary to ensure that the criteria for determining whether a client possesses the necessary experience, knowledge and expertise to be treated as a professional client where such client requests such treatment, are appropriate and fit for purpose. The identification criteria should therefore also take into account experience gathered outside the financial services sector and certified training and education that the client has completed. The identification criteria should also be proportionate and not discriminatory with respect to the Member State of residence of the client. The criteria based on wealth and size of a legal entity should therefore be amended to account for clients residing in Member States with lower average GDP per capita.
(39) The European Data Protection Supervisor was consulted in accordance with Article 42(1) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council and delivered an opinion on [XX XX 2023].
(40) Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council applies to the processing of personal data for the purposes of this Directive. Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council applies to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions and bodies for the purposes of this Directive. Member States should ensure that processing of data carried out in application of this Directive fully respects Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council where that Directive is applicable.
(41) Directives (EU) 2009/65/EC, 2009/138/EC, 2011/61/EU, 2014/65/EU and (EU) 2016/97 should therefore be amended accordingly.