Distribution a “stumbling block” for competition

Distribution of retail investment products is a “major stumbling block to competition” and needs “substantial reform”, according to two European think tanks.

A joint report by the Centre for European Policy Studies and the European Capital Markets Institute, has called for the single market to be “exploited” to remove inefficiencies and promote competition.

The “Rethinking Asset Management” report, which has made policy recommendations for several policy areas has also called for greater protection for retail investors.

The report has called for professional standards for advisers across Europe to be raised and harmonised to improve the quality of advice and for ongoing training.

The think tanks have also mooted the creation of a new product described as a long-term retail fund, which would benefit retail investors by having access to “relatively illiquid asset classes” as part of their retirement savings.