The Forum is a not-for-profit organisation under Belgian law (ASBL) which is supported by a wide range of MEPs from most political groups.
The EPFSF is not a lobbying organisation. That is not its role. Moreover, the diversity of its membership means that it is not capable of advocating a position of its own. In order to guarantee its independence and neutrality, the Forum is administered and managed not by a lobbying group or a consultancy, but by its own dedicated Secretariat.
Interested Members of the European Parliament form a Steering Committee which reviews and oversees the Forum’s role and programme of events. It reflects the EPFSF’s priority objective of providing a service to MEPs which is best able to meet their needs.
The Forum is supported by a Financial Industry Committee which is broadly representative of the financial services industry in the EU. Its role is to make suggestions on the programme of events, to provide speakers, assist in the drafting of briefing papers and set the level of member contributions in order to finance the Forum’s activities.
In addition, there is an Administrative Committee which is drawn from and elected by members of the Financial Industry Committee. It has the responsibility for liaising regularly with the Steering Committee, setting the agenda of meetings, managing the business of the Forum and deciding on applications for membership.
The principal objective of the EPFSF is to provide a forum for discussion on matters relevant to Europe’s financial services industry and to enhance MEPs’ understanding of the financial markets and their role within the wider community.
The value placed on the EPFSF lies in its diverse membership and its position as an acknowledged and reliable source of information, allowing debate and the issuance of impartial commentaries on key issues at the heart of the European legislative agenda. During its debates, all participants, including consumer representatives and other stakeholders, are entitled to voice their opinion. The briefing papers that are prepared in advance to the events are all published on the Forum’s website and demonstrate its effort to be as neutral and informative as possible. Since the EPFSF benefits from members of the whole financial industry, which have different point of views, all positions are taken into account, thus helping to ensure neutrality.
Its membership represents the diversity of Europe’s financial services industry. It is open to any member which complies with objective membership criteria, i.e. providing financial services and supporting the integration of EU financial markets.
Through its organisation and activities, the Forum pays particular attention to the fair and equitable representation of all the different areas in the financial services industry.
In order to guarantee a discussion as open and balanced as possible, the Forum also invites representatives from five consumer/end-user groups to join its events as observers (BEUC, Better Finance, Finance Watch, FSUG and UEAPME).
The Forum’s website contains extensive information about the activities of the Forum, such as its aims and objectives, programme, statutes and finances.
The budget is regularly updated and shows the Forum’s expenditures. As membership is evolving with withdrawals and new members, the income changes every year. Resources come from membership fees of €8.000 per year from financial industry members, who are also listed on the website. Part of the income is used to build up and maintain a reserve equivalent to 6 months’ expenditures.
The EPFSF is registered in the common “Transparency register” set up by the European Parliament and the European Commission.