EU watchdog starts review of customer charges in funds sector

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union’s markets watchdog launched a review on Wednesday to assess whether customers in the bloc’s 10.8 trillion euro investment funds sector are being overcharged.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said its joint review with national regulators in the EU27 will assess the compliance of funds with the “obligation of not charging investors with undue costs”.

The review is the latest push by EU regulators to ensure value for money in the funds sector, and it will follow guidance set out by ESMA last year.

“Ensuring greater convergence in the supervision of costs is an integral part of ESMA’s broader efforts on the cost of retail investment products and is key to improving investors’ confidence in financial markets and reducing costs associated with obtaining financial products,” ESMA said in a statement.

The funds being scrutinised are regulated under the bloc’s “UCITS” rules, seen as a global benchmark in investment funds.

Britain, which is no longer part of the EU, has also been scrutinising value for money at investment funds.

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