EUROPE - A modest improvement in investment returns could increase the size of pension values at retirement by 9%, through the financial services action plan (FSAP).
Fritz Bolkestein, member of the European Commission in charge of internal market, taxation and customs said that the FSAP will help deliver such benefits by removing the regulatory and other public policy barriers which prevent financial market participants from exercising commercial freedoms on a pan-European basis.
The FSAP consists of a set of measures intended to achieve a Single Market in financial services across the EU by 2005.
Speaking at a conference organised by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London, Bolkestein said: “Recent estimates suggest that a modest 0.4% improvement in investment returns well within consensus estimates of the benefits from greater integration of Europe's fund industry could increase the size of pension values at retirement by 9%.
“At the same time, a reduced cost of capital to business will encourage investment, promote growth and stimulate job creation. Comprehensive and competitive insurance cover is essential to the proper functioning of any modern economy.”
Bolkestein said that if Europe was to be transformed into the world's leading marketplace, the creation of an integrated financial market was vital.
“Without a single, deep and liquid capital market the enormous pool of European savings 10 trillion euro of private savings invested in pension funds, life-insurance and UCITS will not work to the full advantage of European savers and corporate borrowers. We have a unique opportunity to increase the returns for savers, while reducing the cost of capital to business,” he said.
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