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Eleni Kaprou

PhD Student, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Eleni started her PhD in February of 2013. Prior to that she received her undergraduate degree in law from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and her LLM in International Commercial Law with distinction from the University of Nottingham. Her research is fully funded by the School of Law and is supervised by Professor Peter Cartwright and Lecturer Richard Hyde. Eleni is also a qualified lawyer in her home country Greece and a member of the Athens Bar Association since 2013.

Expertise Summary

Education

2013 - present PhD Student at the University of Nottingham (Supervisors: Peter Cartwright and Richard Hyde).

2011 - 2012 LLM in International Commercial Law with distinction (University of Nottingham), Thesis title: "Achieving optimal consumer redress in Europe: The Role of Representative Actions".

2004 - 2010 LLB (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Grade "Very Good" (7.1/10) including ERASMUS exchange programme with the University of Vienna (February - June 2008).

Conference Papers

(1) Eleni Kaprou (2014) 'Consumer standards in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive: Can behavioural economics serve as an interpretive tool for judges?' In Society of Legal Scholars PhD Conference: 'Judging in the 21st century' at the University of Nottingham.

(2) Eleni Kaprou 'Clarifying aggressive commercial practices in the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive: the role of consent' for SLSA Annual Conference 2015 in University of Warwick.

Research Summary

" Aggressive commercial practices in the financial services: How to protect the vulnerable consumer"

This project examines aggressive commercial practices in the financial services sector with a focus on protection of vulnerable consumers. It will make comprehensive suggestions for policy reform in the sector that would be of use to the academic community, but also to regulators, businesses and consumers alike.

It aims at answering the following questions:

1) What is consumer vulnerability?

2) How are aggressive commercial practices regulated in EU law?

3) How well protected are vulnerable consumers of financial services from aggressive practices? Is there need for change?

Criticising the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD) forms a crucial part of this thesis. It examines the image of the consumer within the Directive, particularly the notion of the average consumer and its interaction with the vulnerable consumer. Furthermore, it provides a critical analysis of the aggressive practices provisions of the UCPD which suffer from lack of clarity and have received little academic comment.

This thesis shifts the focus from the neo-classical economics paradigm of the 'homo economicus' (which has a lot in common with the average consumer in EU law) and examines how the law protects vulnerable consumers. For that purpose it is first essential to define the concept of consumer vulnerability. To do so, insights from disciplines such as economics, marketing and psychology are utilised to answer the question of what consumer vulnerability is, what are its causes and what are its outcomes.

Finally, this thesis will focus on the financial services sector, which was chosen due to its importance and due to the inherent complexity of many of its products. What is more, financial services are exempt from the maximum harmonisation character of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, allowing for greater flexibility in policy measures. Vulnerable consumers of financial services are more likely to fall prey to aggressive practices and to suffer greater detriment as a result.

Currently, financial services regulation on an EU level and in the UK is examined in order to identify the level of protection granted and the issues that arise in practice, especially in relation to aggressive practices.

School of Law

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