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Economy

Exclusive: New European Legislation Would Outlaw Banking Sales Commissions

The European Commission has drafted a major new bill to ban bankers from accepting fees and commissions on financial products they offer to customers. Investors suffered major losses in the financial crisis from risky investments that quietly earned banks

Banks in Germany and around Europe would be affected by the legislation (justinpickard)
Banks in Germany and around Europe would be affected by the legislation (justinpickard)
Markus Zydra

When a client goes to a bank, he or she should expect to be treated fairly. Yet personal bankers are under more and more pressure to sell, and increasingly recommend investments that will earn the bank particularly high commissions. According to information obtained by Süddeutsche Zeitung, the European Union wants that all to change. And the new initiative is not just about defending clients' rights.

Many people believe that financial advice from bank experts is free because – unlike consulting a tax advisor, for example – no bill is ever presented for services rendered. This is deceptive, however. Banks earn commissions when they sell financial products, a fact that large number of clients don't realize. So it is entirely possible that when a bank recommends its investment fund, it's thinking less of the good of the investor than of of meeting its own sales targets. A 2006 landmark ruling of the German Federal Supreme Court highlighted such reasoning.

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Society

End Of Roe v. Wade, The World Is Watching

As the Supreme Court decides to overturn the 1973 decision that guaranteed abortion rights, many fear an imminent threat to abortion rights in the U.S. But in other countries, the global fight for sexual and reproductive rights is going in different directions.

"Don't abort my right" At 2019 pro-choice march In Toulouse, France.

Alain Pitton/NurPhoto via ZUMA
Hannah Steinkopf-Frank and Sophia Constantino

PARIS — Nearly 50 years after it ensured the right to abortion to Americans, the United States Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade case, meaning that millions of women in the U.S. may lose their constitutional right to abortion.

The groundbreaking decision is likely to set off a range of restrictions on abortion access in multiple states in the U.S., half of which are expected to implement new bans on the procedure. Thirteen have already passed "trigger laws" that will automatically make abortion illegal.

U.S. President Joe Biden called the ruling "a tragic error" and urged individual states to enact laws to allow the procedure.

In a country divided on such a polarizing topic, the decision is likely to cause major shifts in American law and undoubtedly spark outrage among the country’s pro-choice groups. Yet the impact of such a momentous shift, like others in the United States, is also likely to reverberate around the world — and perhaps, eventually, back again in the 50 States.

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