Financial Services Action Plan (PASF)

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The Financial Services Action Plan (PASF) is a work program, approved in 1999 by the European Commission, with the aim of creating a single financial market in the European Union.

In the first place, it should be taken into account that the actions included in the Financial Services Action Plan were scheduled to be completed between 1999 and 2005. It is in October 1998, when the Vienna European Council proposes the preparation of the document . In addition, the Financial Services Policy Group (GPSF) was also part of the proposal.

Regarding its purpose, the PASF intended to develop all the necessary measures to achieve market integration. In principle, the creation of a common market would make it possible to increase growth rates and create jobs.

The 42 measures envisaged in the PASF are aimed at enhancing the stability of the European financial markets. Also, these measures are intended to facilitate the introduction of the euro as a common currency. In other words, they try to guide European markets so that they are able to exploit the advantages that come with the existence of a single currency.

Currently, the MiFID regulation is one of the main reflections of the PASF.

Strategic Objectives of the Financial Services Action Plan

Below, both the objectives of the PASF and the distribution of the 42 measures envisaged in it are shown. In addition, the main guidelines to follow to meet each of the objectives are described.

Strategic objective 1: Establishment of a single market for wholesale financial services

With this objective in mind, measures were developed that covered the following lines of action:

  • Unify the regulations of the securities markets and derivative instruments.
    • 3 measures
  • Develop common legislation regarding the information obligations of listed companies.
    • 4 measures
  • Encourage the constitution of capital at European level and eliminate legislative differences that make it difficult to carry out operations.
    • 2 measures
  • Legislate pension funds and plans in a uniform manner.
    • 3 measures
  • Guarantee the security and transparency of the restructuring process.
    • 5 measures
  • Facilitate transnational operations with titles.
    • 2 measures

Strategic Objective 2: Fostering Accessibility and Security in Retail Markets

In this sense, 9 of the 42 measures of the PASF were addressed which, among other aspects, included:

  • An improvement in information transparency to consumers of financial services.
  • Enabling uniform appeal procedures as well as extrajudicial resolution mechanisms (arbitrations).
  • Comprehensive analysis of distance selling and electronic commerce procedures as well as mitigation of possible threats (fraud, counterfeiting, etc.).
  • Unification of the guidelines to be fulfilled by the insurance intermediaries of the different countries.

Strategic objective 3: Strengthening of the regulations for the supervision and development of precautionary measures

Finally, 14 measures are established to try to prevent and mitigate systemic risk:

  • Converge the legislation of the financial sectors: banking, investment, insurance and pension funds.
  • Parameterize the controls that must be carried out by the supervisory bodies.
  • Encourage cross-border cooperation between competent authorities.

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