Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said: "At the moment, trying to compare different credit offers across the European market is like trying to compare apples and pears. Standard, comparable information for all EU credit loans will make the market more transparent for business and consumers."
Rapporteur Kurt Lechner (EPP-ED) said "the law as a whole is a positive outcome" but that there was "still room for improvement" regarding the scope of the directive and pre-contractual information requirements. He added that he was now sceptical and had "mixed views" regarding the effects of the directive.
"I believe that Socialists and Liberals have struck a decent compromise in the interests of the European consumer," said Evelyne Gebhardt, Socialist Group spokesperson on the Internal Market. "If it manages to conclude this dossier at the end of the arduous negotiations with the member states, the European Parliament will have chalked up a notable success. A positive outcome should then prompt the Commission to bring forward its long-awaited mortgage legislation," stressed Evelyne Gebhardt.
Liberal MEP and ALDE spokesperson on consumer credit Diana Wallis said: "At its best this directive could have the effect of stimulating Europe's credit market by enabling and promoting cross-border consumer lending and providing greater choice of products, whilst always maintaining the backdrop of harmonised consumer protection rules that give consumers the possibility to compare what is on offer and make informed decisions."
Green MEP Heide Rühle was more critical: "This directive promised so much to consumers but, based on today's vote in the European Parliament, the end result would be legislation that ensures neither a high level of consumer protection nor a sufficient degree of security for cross-border credit engagements."
Monique Goyens, Director General of the European Consumer Organisation BEUC, stated: "Even though the result is a long way from our initial demands, there have been some improvements, particularly in terms of the information which should be provided to consumers. However, we regret that all the efforts of the last five years have not led to a more ambitious solution to an issue which affects almost every household in Europe."
European consumer credit association Eurofinas said the consumer credit directive was a "missed opportunity". Its Director General Tanguy de Werve said: "From a single market perspective, the result is disappointing. We are still far away from the initial objective. This is at, at best, a step in the right direction."
The European Banking Federation (EBF) voiced similar concerns and said that the directive would introduce a "disproportionate overload of information and bureaucracy" while "not delivering the additional consumer choice".
Stephen Sklaroff, Director General of the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) said: "We are pleased to see that the European Parliament has amended some of the directive's original proposals, which would have adversely affected our customers. But some concerns remain. We will work closely with the UK Government to ensure that these are addressed when the directive is implemented in the UK."
Xavier Durieu, secretary-general of European retail association EuroCommerce, said: "By trying to find a consensus at any cost, the council risks giving birth to a text that will betray the former expectations of business and consumers alike".
Alain Gourio of the European Mortgage Federation (EMF) said: "The principle of full targeted harmonisation has been adopted in the final Directive. The approach in itself is very efficient, because it is simply not realistic to aim at covering all of the aspects of the credit regime. However, the Directive proves less than ambitious in this respect: there is no harmonisation of the key elements, such as the right of a withdrawal regime or the provisions relating to linked credits."