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Welcome to Graham

166th Brussels 4 Breakfast (6th Brussels Zoom Review)

With moderator Andrew Hilton (CSFI) and panellists: Graham Bishop, Denis MacShane (former Minister for Europe), Andrew Henderson (McFarlanes)

Why CSFI thinks you should watch:

We may not be members of the EU, but (for the moment) we are of the Single Market. More than that, London is still the major financial centre in Europe - but it is clearly under threat, and not just from Michel Barnier. The European Commission has a new Financial Services Commissioner, who is by no means sympathetic to the City.  There is a short extension for UK clearing houses, but the pressure on institutions to move substantial amounts of real business into the EU27 is intense. There is also a revision of MIFID coming up - perhaps the first major piece of legislation where the UK has a keen interest, but where we won't be represented around the table. That could hurt. On the other hand, a rewrite of Solvency 2 is very likely to incorporate some (at least) of the key elements of the recent High Court judgement on pandemic insurance; the Commission will be keen to make sure contracts actually 'do what it says on the tin'. Beyond that, look for a much more active role in EU standard-setting, particularly in the ESG area. An unexpectedly lively discussion on regulatory developments in Brussels and beyond with three very active Euro-watchers.

My choice of key topics for us to discuss

(selected from

Brexit: Internal Market Bill – financial sector implications; further 18 month’s access to UK clearing houses; No Deal?? Thin Deal?

General: People (new Fin Service Commissioner - Mairead McGuinness; ECB’s Mersch expires in December); SOTEU (six legislative proposals for financial services)

Banking: Banking problems (market perceptions are weakening again – see chart in video); Rising `doom loop’ fears, cross- border mergers; AML/continued decline in correspondent banking relationships

Capital Markets Union: ECB blog (fully-fledged CMU needed more than ever); Pandemic insurance; MIFID II - research

ESG: Five standard setters produce a shared vision; Stakeholders want synergy between the different bits of legislation



Graham Bishop's analysis targets the interaction of the driving forces of politics and economics as they force the required changes in financial regulation – at the macro level - rather than covering the micro aspects of detailed implementation. These are precisely the topics where a well-informed financial professional should remain competent:  it can form part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

Banking union and capital markets union are already underway, but obstacles remain and consumer protection is a necessary conditon for success.

The next big project – enhancing the international role of the euro – is only under discussion but the EU is seeking to neutralise any “weaponising” of the dollar

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies are a key priority for the new Commission – with a European Green Deal planned within its first 100 days. But “sustainable finance” goes beyond “green” and includes social considerations as well as the governance that brings it to the forefront of financial decision-making.

The Fin Tech Action Plan will help the financial industry make use of the rapid advances in technology such as blockchain and other IT applications and strengthen cyber resilience. The impact on payment systems will be at the cutting edge.


Access our insights

As a `Friend of' you can easily `scan the horizon’ for politics and economics driving regulatory reform of European financial markets by  joining the 'Brussels' Finance Watchers community

for full details, click: Standard service   Gold service

Graham Bishop is honoured to have been awarded a research contract by the European Commission as part of its series of studies on various aspects of euro area sovereign bond markets.

Graham's contract is intended to illuminate the attitudes of investors toward the euro area sovereign bond markets. In particular, this leads to consideration of attitudes towards the potential for a “common euro area safe asset”: what characteristics should it possess and whether it would ameliorate any of the concerns expressed about the features of existing bond markets.

His proposal for a Temporary Eurobill Fund is one of the range of options in this study. His proposal offers a modest, technical but concrete step that can be expanded progressively into a financial, economic and political structure if circumstances develop propitiously. This author has developed the TEF plan over several years and has comprehensively updated it in the form of “30 FAQs”. Click to download.

Consultancy Financial Services Deepening EMU Education and Learning

MiFID II has been in force since 2018 and requires many investment professionals to be knowledgeable and competent - by holding a qualification; having proper experience; verifying that they undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and that firms record all this for their Competent Authority. offers access to our CPD programme via our `Friends' services - with  structured and unstructured CPD products. These services are extremely cost-effective for CPD purposes: Our Standard service provides 6 hours of structured CPD at €20 per hour and the Gold service gives a total of 10 hours at €24 per hour. Details

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