The Romanian Investor Relations Association (ARIR) together with Intercapital Invest S.A.,  through Club 149, organized an online public debate to respond to the questionnaire put into public consultation by the European Commission on the European Strategy for Retail Investors, given the fact that in the first half of 2022,  the Commission announced its intention to publish an EU strategy for retail investors. The 3 dedicated working sessions were attended by individual investors and representatives of investor clubs, who expressed their views on the sections of the questionnaire regarding the European legal framework MiFID II, OPCVM, PRIIP, IDD, PEPP. We put forward and submitted proposals to the European Commission, aiming at creating a more accessible framework for retail investors to financial instruments within the European Union and, at the same time, increasing their protection as a result of the accelerated digitization process with reference to: financial literacy, digital innovation, pre-contractual documentation, protection for online transactions.

Daniela Șerban, ARIR President & Co-founder: „The European Commission is in the process of developing an EU Strategy for retail investors, in order to ensure that retail investors can take full advantage of capital markets and that the rules set out in the various legal instruments are consistent. We put across to the European Union that we want more flexibility in pre-contractual documentation and the posibility to compare between different financial instruments. Another aspect of interest that we brought out to the Comission is the low protection in case of online accounts opening. At the same time, we consider that it is essential to have financial education in schools as early as possible, and financial literacy is another priority that we have pointed out.”

Mihaela Stoica, Intercapital Invest General Manager: ”Participating at this public debate with retail investors was an interesting experience from the perspective of being both a consultant who interacts with companies in the process of transformation and listing at the Bucharest Stock Exchange, and also with investors through the investor club “Club 149”.The main changes that retail investors have pointed out to be brought to the European Commission attention through this questionnaire, refer to the simplification of the investment process documentation, a better correlation between EU legislative investment products packages, access to a more accessible form of investment services consultancy from market players, access to continuous training offered by market players through advisory / sales processes, easy-to-understand language in the elaboration of investment products documentation, a better highlighting of investment products addressed to investors, removal of investment barriers, comparability between investment products and easier access to investment products within the European Union, both in terms of costs and documentation.”

The EU Strategy of retail investors that the European Commission is going to publish  in the first half of 2022 aims to increase the accessibility of retail investors to capital markets so that they can benefit from: (i) adequate protection, (ii) objective consultancy, (iii) a variety of competitive and cost-efficient financial services and products (iv) transparent, comparable and understandable product information.

In outlining this strategy, the views of all stakeholders were requested, and the voice of each country could be heard by filling in the online questionnaire on the EuSurvey platform. Following the collection of all the data from the Member States,  a strategy is expected to be developed to encourage investment through online platforms and also a more flexibility in opening up investment accounts while ensuring the necessary level of trust and security.