An economic analysis of the EU Commission's proposal for a new Consumer Credit Directive - Offering consumers more protection or restricting their options?
Although the aims of the proposed new CCD are positive, the current draft is unlikely to help to fulfil them. The regulations that are intended to protect consumers seem to work against their interests. They would not make the market more transparent or effective, increase the level of protection, or harmonise legislation throughout the EU. Instead, the proposals (which are well intended but excessive) would weaken the spirit of competition on both the supply and demand sides. Consumer protection with a proper degree of moderation would involve regulation that strikes a balance between the consumer's (1) justified right to protection, (2) obligation to act responsibly and (3) right to self-determination instead of schoolmarmish government intervention. It will become more important to enable consumers to protect themselves. This can only be achieved by providing them with appropriate advice and information; bank regulation is the wrong policy instrument for this.