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23 February 2012

This week in "Brussels"

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Articles from 16 February 2012 - 23 February 2012


Barnier appoints members of a High-level Expert Group on possible reforms to the structure of the EU banking sector
The experts will do an independent, intellectually solid and practical assessment of the potential merits of structural reform, and will make all the recommendations deemed necessary regarding the structure of EU banks to strengthen financial stability and enable banks fully to play their role in favour of citizens.  View Article
CFS White Paper No XI: Recommendations by the Issing Commission - Memo for the G20 November 2011 Summit in Cannes
This report focuses on shadow banking and the too-big-to-fail issues. It suggests a stricter congruence between regulated financial territory and the business model of banks and other regulated financial institutions.  View Article
IMF published a working paper on stress testing interconnected banking systems
The paper, entitled 'From Stress to CoStress: Stress Testing Interconnected Banking Systems', presents an integrated framework for assessing systemic risk.  View Article
FT: Iceland bank establishes covered bond plan
Arion, the bank created from the assets of failed Kaupthing, has established a €1 billion international covered bond programme, the first by an Icelandic lender since the country's banking crisis.  View Article
FT: Europe’s banks in €20 billion property loan sell-off
European banks sold off over €20 billion (and further €13 billion are in selling process) of property loans during 2011, as pressure on lenders to cut exposure to the troubled sector intensified ahead of tough regulatory changes.  View Article
EBF statement on Financial Action Taskforce Standards
Banks consider the compliance with Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) rules as essential and important. During the past decade, they have heavily invested in money laundering prevention. They are by far the largest private contributor to the detection of money laundering criminal offences.   View Article
BIS/Hannoun: Monetary policy in the crisis - testing the limits of monetary policy
Speech by Mr Hervé Hannoun, Deputy General Manager of the BIS, on "Monetary policy in times of high external vulnerability" - 47th SEACEN Governors' Conference, Seoul, Korea.  View Article
EBF/IIB: Joint notice of proposed rulemaking implementing the Volcker Rule
Comments focused on the cross-border issues and potential extraterritorial effects of particular interest to internationally-headquartered banks with US banking operations (international banks).   View Article
Ahead of his visit to US, Barnier sends letter to Bernanke on Volcker rule
Barnier stressed that the draft Volcker rule as presented has an extensive global scope which will have unintended consequences for non-US banks, markets and institutions.   View Article
Commission approved support measures for Hungarian bank, FHB
The Commission has approved a recapitalisation of HUF 30 billion (ca. €100 million) and a loan under the Hungarian liquidity scheme of approximately HUF 120 billion (ca. €400 million) for the Hungarian bank, FHB.   View Article
Commission approved guarantee scheme on liabilities for merging banks in Denmark
Under the scheme, any bank established in Denmark, including subsidiaries of foreign banks, could receive state guarantees on their liabilities in case of a merger with another bank established in Denmark, provided that one of the merging banks is distressed or is likely to become distressed.  View Article


ECOFIN: Adoption of the new rules for short selling and certain aspects of credit default swaps
The regulation introduces common EU disclosure requirements and harmonises the powers that regulators may use in exceptional situations where there is a serious threat to financial stability.  View Article
ECON Committee published draft report on CRAs
Some of the rapporteur's amendments are along the same lines as the Commission text, whereas others attempt to address matters not dealt with in the proposed new regulation, by putting forward innovative suggestions and pointing to possible alternative solutions.  View Article
ECON Committee first exchange of views on MiFID II/MiFIR
Rapporteur Ferber stressed that the aim of the regulation was to reduce systemic risks and provide a more integrated and competitive internal market. He announced that he had received almost 200 contributions to his questionnaire.   View Article
ESMA launched consultation on EMIR
The first part of the paper focuses on the clearing obligation, risk mitigation techniques for contracts not cleared by a CCP and exemptions to certain requirements. The second part focuses on CCP requirements, where a number of provisions need to be specified through technical standards.  View Article
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published opinions on MAD II, MiFID II and CRAs
In the financial sector, the EDPS is particularly concerned about the data protection issues raised by the new powers of the supervisory authorities, especially in relation to access to communication data and inspection of private premises.   View Article
IOSCO consults on principles for ongoing disclosure for asset-backed securities
IOSCO has published a consultation report containing principles designed to provide guidance to securities regulators who are developing or reviewing their regulatory regimes for ongoing disclosure for asset-backed securities (ABS).  View Article
GFMA letter on extraterritorial legislation: the problems posed for markets, clients and regulators
In its letter to Commissioner Barnier and Secretary Geithner, the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA) expressed strong concern that regulation in different G20 jurisdictions may be creating conditions which could result in a fragmented transatlantic capital market.  View Article
IOSCO consults on revised CIS Valuation Principles
The Technical Committee of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has published a consultation report on Principles for the Valuation of Collective Investment Schemes.   View Article
Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority: High frequency trading not a threat to financial stability
High frequency trading contributes to – but is not responsible for – changes in trading. But there is still considerable concern that market abuse has increased and supervision is insufficient. These are the main conclusions from Finansinspektionen's investigation.  View Article
Speech by Mark Hoban MP: What is the UK doing to strengthen financial market regulation at national and EU level?
Mr Hoban, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said that the UK Government is in fact at the forefront of international efforts to remedy the failures of regulation, both in the UK and around the world, that led to the worst financial crisis in almost one hundred years.  View Article
FN: OTFs should silence the OTC derivatives critics
The purpose of the G20's post-crisis reform objectives is to reduce systemic risks, both perceived and actual, by making the global over-the-counter derivatives market more transparent.  View Article
FN: New disclosure rule threat to small caps
Moves by European regulators to make equity trading more transparent could limit the access of smaller companies to capital markets.  View Article
EBF response to ESMA consultation on draft technical standards on short selling and CDS
EBF is concerned that the very limited time frame that ESMA was given in the level 1 text to prepare and consult the industry on its technical standards may impinge their quality.  View Article


Q&A with EIOPA chairman, Gabriel Bernardino: IORP and Solvency II
IPE interviewed Gabriel Bernardino, chairman of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), about revisions to the Directive on Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) and the European Commission's White Paper on pensions.   View Article
Insurers overwhelmingly concerned about data requirements of Solvency II
Over 90 per cent of insurers remain concerned about their ability to meet the data reporting requirements of Solvency II, according to a survey by investment and risk management advisory firm, BlackRock.  View Article

Asset Management

EU sets out plans for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions
The European Commission has published a White Paper on adequate, safe and sustainable pensions. The paper looks at how the EU and the Member States can work to tackle the major challenges that confront their pension systems.  View Article
EFAMA welcomes Commission White Paper on Pensions
EFAMA strongly supports the Commission's proposal to improve the quality of information to individuals for their retirement planning and optimise the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of tax and other incentives for private pension saving.  View Article
IPE: White Paper plans could threaten survival of workplace pensions – AEIP
Some proposals within the White Paper on pensions – including the Solvency II quantitative framework – could threaten the very existence of workplace pensions, the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP) has claimed.  View Article
ICMA's AMIC Solvency II Working Group submits response to EIOPA Consultation Paper
The AMIC Solvency II Working Group has submitted a common response to the EIOPA Consultation Paper on the proposal for a Quantitative Reporting Template for Financial Stability Purposes.  View Article
IPE: Industry associations divided on White Paper on pensions
Pension figures have expressed mixed views on the White Paper on pensions, released yesterday by the European Commission, with some reiterating concerns over plans to revise the IORP Directive.  View Article
EVCA update on proposed reforms to European pension system
EVCA welcomes proposals by the European Commission to review Europe's retirement provision. With an ageing and increasingly mobile population, it is important that Europe's pension regime is fit for purpose.  View Article
NAPF comment: Damaging EU proposals remain on table despite threat to pensions and jobs
The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) commented on the final advice submitted by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) to the European Commission on an EU Pensions Directive based on Solvency II.  View Article
FN: Deluge of opposition greets EU pensions proposals
Europe's pensions industry has deluged the EU regulator with 170 responses to its proposal to introduce tough solvency rules for the industry, more than 13 times the usual volume of feedback to its consultations. Many pension funds have been sharply critical of the proposals.  View Article
IMA says sustainability of national pension system is paramount
Following publication of the European Commission's White Paper on Pensions and EIOPA's advice to the European Commission on pan-European pension regulations, IMA said that recognition of the diversity of national pension systems across the EU was essential.  View Article
Hedgeweek: Global regulatory changes boost appeal of Irish funds
Ireland's long experience of developing a regulated hedge fund industry is striking a chord with managers, as they respond to their clients by offering onshore products that are more transparent and subject to greater supervision.  View Article

Corporate Governance/Accounting

Barnier welcomed final agreement to simplify accounting for Europe's smallest companies
The rules adopted by the Council will significantly simplify the preparation of annual accounts for more than 5 million of Europe's smallest companies. These reductions in "red tape" will free up micro-entities' resources so they can be invested in growing their businesses.   View Article
IFAC: Identification of key issues for 2012 by global accountancy leaders
The IFAC released the results of its 2011 IFAC Global Leadership Survey of the Accounting Profession. The survey results include data from 123 respondents from 71 countries and jurisdictions who took the survey from December 1, 2011 to January 11, 2012.  View Article
ACCA: Businesses need to re-think risk
According to ACCA's report, businesses need to work harder to spread responsibility for risk management across the whole organisation. The survey found a statistical link between the use of accounting practices that contribute to managing risk and lower occurrences of dysfunctional behaviour.  View Article
FRC: APB publishes exposure draft of revisions to its reporting ISAs (UK and Ireland)
The APB issued a Consultation Paper proposing revisions to ISAs: 700 "The auditor's report on financial statements (rev)"; 705 "Modifications to the opinion in the independent auditor's report"; and 706 "Emphasis of matter paragraphs and other matter paragraphs in the independent auditor's report".  View Article
FASB: Update of print edition of FASB Accounting Standards Codification®
The FAF released an updated print edition of the Financial Accounting Standards Board's Accounting Standards Codification®, the single, authoritative source of US GAAP for public and private companies, not-for-profits and other non-governmental organisations.  View Article

Financial Services Policy

Commissioner Šemeta: The FTT is not an attack on the City of London
Šemeta also stressed that coordinated tax policies mean more certainty and less red tape. The CCCTB offers a very attractive tax regime for foreign investors, and fair and healthy competition between national corporate tax regimes for the benefit of all businesses.   View Article
Commission published special Eurobarometer survey on retail financial services
The results show large differences in the financial products and services held by European consumers. Moreover, European consumers are extremely immobile when it comes to financial services; many fail to shop around for financial products and the majority have not switched providers for existing products.   View Article
FT: Commission reform poses threat to IFAs (UK/RDR)
The Retail Distribution Review (RDR) will ban one of the biggest sources of revenue for most of the UK's 21,700 IFAs: the rebates they receive from a fund's manager when their clients invest in it.   View Article

European Council/Parliament

ECOFIN Council conclusions: Economic governance, European Semester, short selling and macro-economic imbalances
The Council adopted conclusions providing policy guidance to the Member States for tackling macro-economic and fiscal challenges under this year's European Semester.   View Article


Mexican G20 Presidency published discussion paper
Among the five top priorities, Mexico has included strengthening the financial system. The document also includes a calendar of events, a timetable for outreach dialogue that will take place during Mexico's Presidency, and a broad overview of other topics that will be analysed.  View Article

© Graham Bishop

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