On 3 May 2021, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a report on the mystery shopping activities of Member State competent authorities (NCAs). The EBA collated mystery shopping activities by NCAs with a view to share experiences, learn lessons and identify good practices for the benefit of the EBA and NCAs that use or intend to use mystery shopping in the future. The report is the EBA’s first step in the fulfilment of its new coordination mandate on mystery shopping activities of NCAs.

The report covers initiatives in respect of products that fall within the scope of action of the EBA’s consumer protection mandate, i.e. retail banking products and services (mortgages, deposits, payment accounts, payment services and electronic money). At this stage, only a limited number of NCAs have carried out mystery shopping activities in their jurisdiction.

The report notes that in most cases mystery shopping is part of a standard on-site supervision or a targeted / thematic investigation carried out by NCAs. Although some mystery shopping activities focus on specific topics, mystery shopping often applies to a wide range of subject matter and targets mainly pre-contractual information for consumers, mortgage credits and basic payment accounts.