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Welcome to Graham


Why you should watch:

 Believe it or not, the trade talks with the UK are not top of the Brussels agenda; the row over 'rule of law' and the budget take priority - and that won't help the UK get a deal. Plus, the impact of an FTA on financial services will be limited at best. But there is a lot more going on in Brussels - including more pressure on EU banks, proposals for a pan-European 'bad bank', new AML/counter-terrorism rules etc. There is also growing concern over the viability of the insurance sector as a result of potential Covid-related losses. And, all the time, there is a nagging feeling that the big payment companies are starting to nibble away at the banks' lunch... Three experts - Graham Bishop, the Telegraph's Jeremy Warner, and David Reed from Kreab in Brussels - give their views and share their insights.

 Moderator: Andrew Hilton (Director, CSFI) 


 Graham Bishop is one of the UK's leading Europe-watchers. A former bond analyst who has been a fixture in the City since 1972, he is a committed europhile, but has been forced to come to terms with the UK's new role as an EU outsider. He is a senior research fellow at the Global Policy Institute, and a vice-chairman of the UK branch of the European Movement, as well as the proprietor of

 Jeremy Warner is assistant editor of the Daily Telegraph, and the paper's chief economic and business commentator. With Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, he also writes the Telegraph's Economic Intelligence newsletter. Prior to joining the paper, he was, for many years, business and City editor of The Independent.

David Reed is senior partner and head of the financial policy network at Kreab, in Brussels. Prior to joining the firm 12 years ago, he worked with the European Commission and, before that, with the precursor of the FCA in London.


My choice of the key topics for discussion


·       Still no Deal – but irrelevant for Fin Services?

·       Access to EU --- only what is in EU’s interest

·       Access to UK – Sunak sets out “UK open access”

·       ESMA/EBA: reminders about post-transition


·       Commission autumn economic forecast – pre-vaccine announcements/second lockdowns.

·       State of play on agreeing EU budget/RRF

·       Scale of demand for EU's SURE issues – 13x!


·       Bank shares up by more than a third on news of two vaccines --- but further rise of nearly half to get back to the high for the year (NB only = starting point of index in later 1980s)

·       Progress on AML/CT, supervisor actions

·      SSM's Enria – EU needs a “bad bank”

Capital Markets Union

·       AFME progress report on issuance, AIMA – scale of non-bank lenders

·       Solvency II review… fix the flaws to unlock long-term investment

·       Business interruption insurance: Geneva Association says claims would be 150 years of current premiums!


·       Wirecard: ESMA says more attention should have been given to FT…

·       IOSCO ready to support global sustainability reporting standards

Fin Tech

·       ECB and central bank digital currencies



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.


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