Asesoramiento financiero y procedimientos automáticos

Una de las características que se ha destacado en los últimos años en la evolución de los distintos mercados financieros es la progresiva introducción de tecnología en el asesoramiento y en la contratación. Existe un porcentaje no desdeñable de operaciones en las que el asesoramiento financiero a los clientes da lugar a una mínima intervención del personal de las instituciones y corre por cuenta de ordenadores que aplican algoritmos y procesos de decisión previamente programados.

Esta situación no ha pasado desapercibida desde hace años a las autoridades supervisoras europeas de forma que en el año 2016 se presentó por el Comité Conjunto de las Autoridades Supervisoras Europeas (ESMA, EBA y EIOPA, en sus abreviaturas inglesas) un primer informe sobre los riesgos y las ventajas de esa contratación automática dentro de los mercados financieros europeos, tanto desde la perspectiva de los consumidores, como de las propias entidades. En aquel documento se señalaban tales riesgos, que se habían planteado en un previo trabajo en 2015 de las mismas autoridades:

Risks to consumers included the risk that consumers make unsuitable decisions as a result of lack of information or reduced opportunities to fill the gaps or seek clarifications when they interact with automated tools; or because of errors and/or functional limitations in the tool. On the other hand, the benefits arising from automated tools to consumers included reduced costs when they obtain advice through automated tools and consumers having access to a wider range of products and services. Risks to financial institutions included a greater exposure to litigation and subsequent reputational risk due to faulty automation and legal disputes due to unclear allocation of liability between different providers; while benefits to financial institutions included lower costs to deliver financial advice and having access to a wider range of consumers.

En los primeros días del pasado mes de septiembre se presentó una segunda edición de esa investigación, bajo el título Joint Committee Report on the results of the monitoring exercise on ‘automation in financial advice’ cuyo resumen reproduzco:

1. Following the publication of the 2015 JC Discussion Paper (DP) on Automation in Financial Advice and the 2016 Report on the same topic, a new analysis has now been done, through a survey with national competent authorities (NCAs), on the evolution of ‘automation in financial advice’ in the securities, banking and insurance sectors over the past two years.

2. The analysis shows that while the phenomenon of automation in financial advice seems to be slowly growing, the overall number of firms and customers involved still seems to be quite limited.

3. The risks and benefits of this phenomenon, which had originally been identified by the ESAs in the development of the DP and related Report, have largely been confirmed by NCAs and seem to be still valid.

4. In terms of emerging business models, it appears that these kind of automated services are being offered, through partnerships, by established financial intermediaries, rather than by pure FinTech firms and while some new trends seem to emerge (such as the use of Big Data, chatbots and extension to a broader range of products) there seems to have been no substantial change to the overall market since the publication of the ESA Report in 2016.

5. Considering the results of the analysis, in terms of limited growth of the phenomenon and lack of materialisation of the identified risks, no immediate ESAs action appears to be necessary. A new monitoring exercise will be done if and when the development of the market and market risks warrant this work.

A partir del hecho de que la evolución del mercado en los dos últimos años presenta escasos cambios con respecto a la imagen reflejada en el precedente informe de 2016, no se recomiendan medidas relevantes para su inmediata adopción, tal y como indican las breves conclusiones que transcribo:

33. Considering that results of the analysis show limited growth of the phenomenon of ‘automation in financial advice’, no significant change in the previously-identified risks, and any substantial changes to the phenomenon since the publication of the 2016 Report, no immediate further ESA action appears to be necessary.

34. However, considering the overall importance of the topic, and the emergence of some ongoing changes to business models, a new monitoring exercise will be done if and when the development of the market and market risks warrant this work.”

Entre los aspectos más interesantes de este último informe figura la reseña de las medidas adoptadas en los distintos Estados europeos con la finalidad de una mejor supervisión de este tipo de prácticas contractuales. Se menciona con respecto a España: “In Spain, BdE has recently created a new Associate Directorate General Financial Innovation and Market Infrastructures with the aim of monitoring and analysing financial market innovations.

Madrid, 4 de octubre de 2018