CIFSA is the official representative organisation for FECIF, Federation Europeenne des Conseils et Intermediaires Financiers, in Cyprus.
FECIF is a Federation representing approximately 300,000 financial services intermediaries operating across all EU member states. It is the only European body representing financial intermediaries without distinction of activity or status at the European Commission. FECIF provides all financial services operatives with an opportunity to make representation and have a voice within the European Union, in particular in the formation and operation of new regulation and legislation including the three new Supervisory Authorities ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority), EBA (European Banking Authority) and EIOPA (European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority). Members of CIFSA will automatically be members of FECIF, enabling them to participate and contribute to the legislative proposals as they are formulated. This participation will enable members to ensure that EU and domestic regulation better reflects the needs of the industry and that all Supervisory Authorities, both EU and domestic, better understand and represent the interests of the industry as well as creating and presenting a more coherent image to the members of the public within the EU.
Any suggestions on current issues, for example the proposed IMD amendments, are welcomed by CIFSA and will be given due attention and brought to the attention of FECIF where possible.
The European Federation of Financial Advisers and Financial Intermediaries (FECIF) was chartered in June 1999 for the defence and promotion of the role of financial advisers and intermediaries in Europe.
FECIF is an independent and non-profit-making organisation at the exclusive service of its financial adviser and intermediary members from the 28 European Union member states, plus Switzerland and Norway. It is the only European body representing European financial advisers and intermediaries, and it is based in Brussels, the heart of Europe.
FECIF has also created two national chapters, FECIF-Greece and FECIF-Poland, to accommodate the smaller local national associations.
The European financial adviser and intermediary community is made up of approximately 500,000 private individuals exercising this profession as a main occupation (representing some 26,000 legal entities including 45 networks), and about 280,000 are members of national professional associations (51 at today’s count).
The professional activities of advice and mediation are heavily penalised by extremely constraining regulations, the soaring cost of compliance procedures, the development of often unreliable new technologies, and the demands of generally distressed and ill-informed consumers.
The European legislation for financial services, whilst important for the protection of consumers’ interests, must be applicable without pointless restraints for practitioners.
It remains a hard task in view of the paltry enthusiasm of national bureaucrats for anything that might represent the slightest change in their narrow vision of society.
The “time bomb”, which in the very short term is constituted by the pensions problem, reinforces the political need to attack the ensuing complications sooner rather than later, even if the national governments are showing reluctance for European harmonisation of legislation, that would take a more pragmatic direction, and be more genuinely concerned with protecting consumer interests.
The failure of the state pension systems opens unprecedented opportunities for European financial advisers and intermediaries to assist the anxious consumer in the right choice of options and alternatives for the sound management of his or her wealth.
The lack of adequate training and organisation of most financial advisers and intermediaries can create problems, and FECIF must tackle the provision of quality training courses and ensure proper assistance to the advisers and intermediaries, in close co-operation with the national member associations.
FECIF shows determination in its representation of the fundamental interests of its members by advocating the principle of co-regulation of the profession in what is already an excessively-regulated environment-detrimental not only to consumers’ interests but also to the European economy as a whole.
As a non-profit-making association, FECIF is an independent organisation at the exclusive service of its members from the 28 European economic area member states, plus Switzerland and Norway.