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Finland

Finland is revising legislation on consumer protection in distance marketing of financial services. A government bill proposing amendments to the Consumer Protection Act to implement the EU Directive 2002/65/EC on distance marketing of consumer financial services was put before the Finnish parliament on June 16 2004.

The proposed legislation would apply to the sale and marketing by, for instance, telephone, mail, email or over the internet, provided that the contract with the consumer is entered into by these means of communication without the parties being simultaneously present. It would apply to financial services such as deposit account services, payment intermediation and credit, insurance and securities intermediation. The proposed legislation would also apply to the distance sale and marketing of, for example, units in investment funds and different types of securities, bonds and derivatives, as defined in the Securities Market Act.

The proposed legislation sets requirements on marketing, contracts and the information to be provided to the consumer. Subject to certain exceptions (such as sale and purchase orders for securities, currency exchange contracts and investment products where price is dependent upon fluctuating quotations), consumers would be entitled to a 14-day so-called regret period, during which they may withdraw from the contract. The new legislation would apply to the distance marketing of financial services in Finland or cross-border into Finland and is expected to enter into force in October 2004.

Tarja Wist and Nina Rosenlew

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