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10 May 2012

This week in "Brussels"

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Asset Management Corporate Governance/Accounting Financial Services Policy
Graham Bishop’s Articles and Speeches About this email

Articles from 03 May 2012 - 10 May 2012


European Commission: High-level Expert Group on possible reforms to the structure of the EU banking sector
Commissioner Michel Barnier has set up a High-level Expert Group to examine possible reforms to the structure of the EU's banking sector. Comments and responses to questions are requested by 1 June, 2012.  View Article
Joaquín Almunia: Europe's banking sector after the crisis - Oversight, regulation and responsibility
Speaking at the World Savings Banks Institute Congress, Almunia said that policy-makers and the banking community needed to carry out a serious debate on the banking models of the future. He listed four main steps to follow.  View Article
Joaquín Almunia: A new approach conference on card, internet and mobile payments
Open, secure and innovative payments markets are crucial for the digital economy, which is in turn one of the most promising sectors for Europe's growth. On top of this, payments systems underpin the smooth functioning of the internal market.  View Article
BIS: Fundamental review of trading book capital requirements - Consultation by the Basel Committee
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued a consultative document on the fundamental review of trading book capital requirements. These proposals will strengthen capital standards for market risk, and thereby contribute to a more resilient banking sector.  View Article
Bundesfinanzministerium: Cabinet adopts reform of banking supervision in Germany
At its meeting on 2 May 2012, the German cabinet adopted a bill to improve German financial supervision. The intention behind the legislation is to adapt national supervisory structures to the challenges currently faced by regulators.  View Article
Bruegel/Vallée: CRD IV - Of capital and liquidity
Vallée writes that, unsurprisingly, the fierce negotiation on CRD IV at the last ECOFIN has exposed important divides in Europe, in particular between continental Europe and the UK, to such an extent that no agreement was reached.  View Article
FT: Commerzbank says it has 'passed' stress test
Commerzbank has met European bank stress test requirements early by plugging a €5.3 billion capital gap identified by EBA last year, but Germany's second-largest bank by assets fell short of expectations for its first-quarter earnings.  View Article
Financial World: Styling bondholder haircuts (Graham Bishop article)
An EU Commission non-paper on a resolution regime raises profound issues about the banking system's stability, writes Graham Bishop.  View Article
FT: Banks look to farm out SME lending
Several large European banks are weighing the idea of outsourcing a portion of their core small business lending to a new crop of loan funds, in a further sign of the growth of the "shadow banking" industry in Europe.  View Article
Klaus C Engelen: Germans vent fury over 'arbitrary' EU supervisor
The drive for a common rulebook is provoking a backlash in Europe's biggest economy, writes Engelen for Global Risk Regulator. German bankers are angry. And the focus of this wrath is the European Banking Authority (EBA).  View Article


Eurosystem signs TARGET2-Securities (T2S) Framework Agreement with first Central Securities Depositories (CSDs)
The agreement governs the legal relationship between the Eurosystem and each CSD participating in T2S. The CSDs that signed the contract today account for approximately two-thirds of the settlement volumes in the euro area.  View Article
Mario Draghi: The TARGET2-Securities Framework Agreement
Address by Mr Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, at the event marking the first signatures to the T2S Framework Agreement. "T2S is important for Europe. It will be a major contribution to the strengthening of the Single Market."  View Article
Ignazio Visco: The TARGET2-Securities Framework Agreement
Statement by Mr Visco, Governor of the Bank of Italy, at the event of the signatures to the T2S Framework Agreement. "Banca d'Italia is firmly committed to the success of this project and to fulfil the expectations of the Eurosystem and of the European market community."  View Article
Peter Praet: The TARGET2-Securities Framework Agreement
Address by Mr Praet, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, at the event marking the first signatures to the T2S Framework Agreement. "T2S is a truly European project, which is capable of generating great economies of scale and of bringing benefits to its users and to Europe as a whole."  View Article
ESMA publishes its 2012 regulatory work programme
The regulatory programme takes into account i.a. ESMA's objectives and tasks, the procedure for adopting technical standards, providing technical advice and issuing guidelines, as well as the scope and nature of specific powers conferred in European Union legislative acts to ESMA.  View Article
ESMA launches a call for evidence on transaction reporting
This call for evidence seeks to collect interested parties' views on what elements ESMA should consider in its work on guidelines on harmonised transaction reporting, as well as opinions on what areas of the OTC derivatives guidelines need to be updated.  View Article
SEC joint statement on regulation of OTC derivatives markets
The purpose of the meeting was to provide a forum for discussion among key OTC derivatives regulators responsible for introducing rules designed to give effect to implementing new international standards relating to OTC derivatives.  View Article
EFRP issues a position paper on MiFID review
IORPs are strongly in favour of transparency, information disclosure and stronger safeguards for investment activities, as promoted by MiFID II/MiFIR.  View Article

Insurance EIOPA warns on use of external data in internal capital models
Insurance companies will need to provide details of any external data or models used to support their internal model applications or risk their model application being rejected, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has said.   View Article
Willis Re reports on mutual insurers’ diversification challenges, opportunities
Willis Re, the reinsurance arm of Willis Group Holdings, has released a report discussing the challenges and opportunities offered to mutual insurers through diversification.  View Article
Insurance Insight: Belarus targets regulatory overhaul of insurance market
A major overhaul of the Belarus insurance industry is being planned in an effort to close the gap between Belarus and its European neighbours, according to online news agency Xprimm.  View Article

Asset Management

Barnier: Asset management, the key to intelligent financial regulation
Speaking at EFAMA on 4th May, Commissioner Barnier said: "Asset managers are the vanguard to make Europeans' savings work for businesses. And to help savers better manage the risks they face in the course of their lives."  View Article
IPE: AIFM Directive could spur development of onshore hedge fund market
According to French experts, the Alternative Investment Fund Managers' Directive will boost investor confidence in hedge funds and pave the way for potentially significant asset growth.  View Article
IPE: Consensus on pension insurance fund still eludes German stakeholders
German employers' association BDA has said it is aiming to achieve consensus on the levy for the new pension insurance fund (PSV) by this autumn. In the wake of the crisis, a number of major insolvencies led to a surge in contributions to the PSV, which in turn sparked a debate on a risk-based levy.  View Article
IPE: Holistic balance sheet approach a danger to occupational pensions
According to Heribert Karch, chairman at Germany's occupational pensions association, the 'holistic balance sheet' approach for IORPs currently under consideration in Brussels would be a "danger" to occupational pensions.  View Article
EDHEC-Risk study highlights the need to reform retirement systems and corporate pension funds
A new EDHEC-Risk Institute study highlights the need to reform retirement systems and pension funds, as well as the need to adopt professional management structures and to improve considerably the product offering of defined contribution funds.  View Article
IPE: Liability-driven investing - Best foot forward
Martin Stewart writes that as short rates collapsed and curves steepened over the past three years, pension funds have become more attuned to forward rates when deciding to de-risk or to take active risk with their LDI portfolios.  View Article
IPE: Irish pensions industry calls for greater clarity in DC regulation
The Irish pension industry has called for greater clarity of regulation in defined contribution (DC) schemes, according to responses to a consultation on the DC pension system.  View Article
IPE: New Swiss pensions supervisor to make underfunding a priority
Funding and recovery measures for Swiss pension funds will be top priorities for the country's new supervisory body, the Oberaufsichtskommission.  View Article

Corporate Governance/Accounting

IASB: Trustees' updated version of the IFRS Foundation Due Process Handbook
The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation published for public comment an updated version of the IFRS Foundation Due Process Handbook. The Handbook describes the steps followed by the IASB in developing or revising IFRSs, required or permitted for use by companies in more than 100 countries.   View Article
IASB: Proposals for amendments to IFRSs under annual improvements project
The IASB published for public comment an exposure draft of proposed amendments to eleven IFRSs under its annual improvements project. The IASB requests comments on the exposure draft by 5 September, 2012.  View Article
ECIIA: IIA's Response to the Basel Committee on the internal audit function in banks
The Institute of Internal Auditors provided comments on the consultative document, entitled "The internal audit function in banks", from December 2011. Comments are based on discussions conducted by a core team of internal audit professionals who serve on the IIA's Professional Issues Committee.   View Article

Financial Services Policy

State aid: Commission launches major initiative to modernise state aid control
The European Commission has adopted a Communication on State Aid Modernisation (SAM), setting out the objectives of an ambitious reform package.  View Article
Joaquín Almunia: Speech on State Aid modernisation
"It is urgent to enhance the growth potential of a broader and more integrated internal market, while making the best possible use of taxpayers' money given the need to pursue fiscal consolidation in most of our countries. In this respect, state aid control has an important role to play."  View Article
European Commission Statement for Schuman Day
Good progress has been made in most of the areas of the "Roadmap to Stability and Growth"; now frontloading stability and growth-enhancing policies has moved to centre stage and needs to be pursued with the same determination and speed.  View Article
Daniel K Tarullo: Regulatory reform since the financial crisis
Mr Tarullo, Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, reviewed the vulnerabilities in the financial system that contributed to the crisis and compel regulatory response. He outlined some key reforms adopted to date, and identified important tasks that remain.  View Article
BaFin President, Dr Elke König: "We want to be regarded internationally as a benchmark"
BaFinQuarterly spoke to Dr König about the challenges that will have to be overcome in Germany, in Europe and internationally in the months ahead.  View Article

Graham Bishop’s Articles and Speeches

Wilton Park/Bundesbank conference report: Financial regulation in the European Union
The conclusion of the conference is that the necessity to solve problems quickly – yet take account of the rest of the world – is a priority for EU policy-makers, so that Europe can reinforce and safeguard a pre-eminent position in the changing global economic order.  View Article

© Graham Bishop

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