“Any improvement in regulatory guarantees – if deemed necessary – can only be carried out at European level, to avoid mismatches between European and national standards, with an alteration of the competitive terrain within the Banking Union.” This closes the 40 pages of the report by Giovanni Sabatini, General Manager of Abi and Salvatore Poloni, President of Casl before the Banking Commission on Tuesday 21 June. The two senior representatives of Palazzo Altieri were audited on the regulation of the distribution of financial products and on the sectoral collective bargaining of trade policies.
From many quarters, especially unions, the issue of undue pressure exerted by banks on their employees is raised. “The catalog of financial instruments and products that are the subject of the offer predetermines the client’s upstream target in order to properly guide the provision of investment services. In this context, it also defines the distribution strategy (investment service, usable operating channel and related precautions) that seems appropriate for the individual financial instrument and the investment product, ”the report says. “It is also worth noting that in 2014 Consob issued a specific Communication on the distribution of complex products, which guided banks in developing internal procedures aimed at adopting specific precautions depending on the degree of complexity of financial instruments. Although the Commission revoked this Communication on 2 February 2022, as its content is directly or indirectly absorbed by the broader and more complex rules dictated by the current regulatory framework, the procedures adopted by Italian banks in this regard may undergo some reformulation, which, however, will not affect the level of protection of customers, taking into account that the new European regulations in force today take care of the issue carefully “. During the report Sabatini and Poloni refer several times to the Mifid directive that regulates customer relations, examining all the steps to follow before making an investment appropriate to the characteristics of the saver, the so-called profiling. Sabatini and Poloni explained the organizational and government guarantees provided to ensure compliance by banks and the independent compliance function to control the risk of non-compliance. Special emphasis is placed on remuneration policy rules designed to avoid conflicts of interest also in customer relations and excessive risk-taking. Focused on the February 8, 2017 agreement on trade policies and work organization.
“President Antonio Patuelli has repeatedly reminded that for the protection of the savings of the ABI, unions and banks collaborate, with the application of the said Agreement, against any undue pressure, emphasizing that there have been steps President Patuelli has hoped that this valid agreement will be implemented at all levels and always, and that he has duly assessed the constructiveness of the unions. , especially in the most difficult phases of these years of emergency. “” The joint statement represents a significant result for the sector’s social dialogue, as it is oriented towards a culture of values, transparency and professional integrity that reconciles both the necessary profitability of banks as the need for greater environmental well-being of workers, favored by a shared context that is of orientation and direction in development balanced and sustainable activities related to financial services and products and customer relations. In fact, the text contains paragraphs relating to the role of compliance, the continuous training of workers, information, internal communication, working conditions and the conciliation of working life and respect for professional values, sustainability and the protection of data. It should be noted that ABI took an active part in the discussion that led to the sharing of the Joint Declaration addressed to the entire European banking sector and which takes as a reference the same inspiring principles as the ABI Agreement of February 2017 on trade policies.
The Agreement is based on the relevant regulatory framework, which is a particularly broad and complex system of rules – from the competent European and national institutions – as illustrated above.
In this sense, it is emphasized that all activity requires equal conditions: therefore, it is recalled that all operators, including the less “traditional”, which have recently appeared on the national and international stage of banking and financial services, are subject to a common and “homogeneous” regulatory and supervisory framework, following the principle that “same services, same risks, same rules, same supervision”, avoiding the continuation of regulatory dumping situations that adversely affect competition “.