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18 October 2018

This week in "Brussels"

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Articles from 11 October 2018 - 18 October 2018

Banking Union

BCBS: Basel Committee issues final "Stress testing principles"
This document replaces the Committee's 2009 Principles for sound stress testing practices and supervision, which addressed key weaknesses in stress testing practices as highlighted by the global financial crisis.   View Article
Financial Times: BoE warns over growth of risky corporate loans
The Bank of England has sounded the alarm over loans to highly-indebted companies, drawing parallels with the growth of subprime mortgages in 2006 that sparked the worst financial crisis in a generation.  View Article
ECB: Working paper: Beyond spreads: measuring sovereign market stress in the euro area
In this paper authors propose a composite indicator that measures multidimensional sovereign bond market stress in the euro area as a whole and in individual euro area member states.  View Article
Financial Times: Five reforms the ECB should embrace
The ECB's target and approach should evolve, argues Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, Société Générale chairman. In this guest post he makes five suggestions for reform.  View Article
ECB: Working paper: A framework for early-warning modeling with an application to banks
This paper proposes a framework for deriving early-warning models with optimal out-of-sample forecasting properties and applies it to predicting distress in European banks.   View Article
European Council: Relocation of European Medicines Agency and European Banking Authority: agreement on the legal text
The Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved, on behalf of the Council, an agreement with the European Parliament on the text of the regulations for the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam, and of the European Banking Authority (EBA) to Paris.  View Article

Capital Markets Union

ISDA: Clearing incentives, systemic risk and margin requirements
Central clearing of standardized derivatives and margin requirements for non-cleared derivatives are two of the basic tenets of global financial regulatory reform.   View Article
ISDA publishes updated Model Netting Act
ISDA has published an update of its Model Netting Act, designed to provide a template that can be used by jurisdictions considering legislation to ensure the enforceability of close-out netting.  View Article
ESMA sees 1.9% increase in prospectus approvals across the EEA
The purpose of making prospectus data available is to provide information about trends within the prospectus regime in terms of general approval and passporting activity, as well as the structure of approved prospectuses and the types of securities they cover.   View Article
Accountancy Europe: ESMA’s draft guidance on prospectus risk factors
Accountancy Europe has published its comment letter to ESMA. It supports overall the ESMA’s draft guidance on prospectus risk factors. Accountancy Europe has additional minor recommendations to propose in order to render the draft guidance even better and clearer for both investors and issuers.  View Article
Financial Times: US threatens to bar EU banks from exchanges
One of the US’s top regulators has threatened to stop European banks from using US futures markets if the EU refuses to water down post-Brexit plans to oversee clearing houses.  View Article

Clients Union

Ethical Boardroom: Ready for action
Stephen Davis, Associate Director and Senior Fellow at the Harvard Law School Program on Corporate Governance and ICGN Member – issues article: Ready for Action on Ethical Boardroom. This article covers the role of asset managers and asset owners in owning corporate equity.  View Article


Insurance Europe: Global insurers unite in their call for IFRS 17 improvements and a delay
A global group of nine insurance associations has written a joint letter to Hans Hoogervorst, chair of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), that highlights the industry’s concerns about the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 for insurance contracts.  View Article

Asset Management

EFAMA launches new industry initiative to extend the European Fund Classification (EFC)
The European Fund Categorization Forum (EFCF) – a Task Force of the EFAMA – has launched an Indicative Classification (IC) to address the market need for a stronger coverage of the European Fund Classification (EFC). The introduction of the IC sees a major boost to the number of funds classified, enabling more complete peer groups to create meaningful comparisons.  View Article
EFAMA updates its recommendations for fund processing with its latest report
The EFAMA has published its fifth Fund Processing Report, presenting recommendations put forward by the Fund Processing Standardisation Group (FPSG) to the funds industry. The report still encompasses the full scope of activities from the initial report but will now also include new sections aiming to enable increased efficiency in fund processing.  View Article
Financial Times: Property fund managers criticise FCA proposals
Fund managers say that new proposals to make open-ended property funds fairer for retail investors, following mass suspensions amid the Brexit-related sell-off in 2016, could make it harder for investors to withdraw their money.   View Article
Investment & Pensions Europe: PensionsEurope calls for further delay to data reporting requirements
Europe’s top pensions lobby group has called for a 12-month delay to the implementation of EU-wide reporting requirements for pension funds. PensionsEurope also warned that data reporting rules proposed by the ECB and the EIOPA placed a “big financial burden” on some pension funds.  View Article

Corporate Governance/Accounting

ECGI: Governance of financial services outsourcing: Managing misconduct and third-party risks
Authors examine the preferences of financial institutions themselves for managing third-party functions. Specifically, they focus on the cost effectiveness of outsourcing, the extent to which core business processes are outsourced and the specialized capacity of the vendor that is necessary for accomplishing the project.  View Article
EFRAG's endorsement advice on amendments to references to the conceptual framework in IFRS
EFRAG has submitted its endorsement advice relating to Amendments to References to the Conceptual Framework in IFRS Standards ('the Amendments') for use in the EU and EEA to the EC.  View Article
Financial Times: To raise audit standards, you must change accounting standards
Jonathan Ford writes on the aim of the UK government to raise audit standards. There is plenty of evidence that accounting rules are in fact part of the problem.  View Article
ECIIA response to the Commission on ‘Fitness check on the EU framework for public reporting by companies’
ECIIA believes that the objective of this fitness check on corporate reporting should be to simplify and better tailor the information provided to the need of creditors, investors, and shareholders, instead of creating new layer(s) of requirements or increasing the disclosure requirements.  View Article

Anti-Money Laundering

EurActiv: 90% of major European banks already sanctioned for money laundering
According to a British report, 18 of the 20 leading European banks, including four French ones, have already been sanctioned for money laundering offences over the past decade.   View Article
EU adopts tougher rules on money laundering
The Council adopted a new anti money laundering directive. This directive introduces new criminal law provisions which will disrupt and block access by criminals to financial resources, including those used for terrorist activities.  View Article

Financial Services Policy

Financial Times: A darker reality for Dodd-Frank’s burst of sunlight on derivatives
The tremors on global stocks this week have not been enough to invoke memories of the 2008 financial crisis, but the fallout from a decade ago is still playing out on Wall Street.  View Article
FCA: FCA opens a discussion on the impact of climate change and green finance on financial services
The effects of climate change and the associated transition to a low carbon economy may have a major impact on financial markets and on products that serve those markets. The discussion paper sets out how the impacts of climate change are relevant to the FCA’s statutory objectives of protecting consumers, protecting market integrity and promoting competition.  View Article

Grahams Articles, Comments & Speeches

October European Council: the clash of the ‘big shots’ over Brexit - 145th Brussels for Breakfast – CPD Notes
Yesterday’s European Council may have been May’s last chance to secure a deal that will avoid a crash Brexit next year. There will only be another Council meeting when there are concrete proposals as nothing new was offered by the UK – except some willingness to lengthen the transitional period.   View Article

Friends Services

October European Council: the clash of the ‘big shots’ over Brexit - 145th Brussels for Breakfast – CPD Notes
Yesterday’s European Council may have been May’s last chance to secure a deal that will avoid a crash Brexit next year. There will only be another Council meeting when there are concrete proposals as nothing new was offered by the UK – except some willingness to lengthen the transitional period.   View Article


Bloomberg: Merkel faces fresh turmoil after historic Bavarian setback
Chancellor Angela Merkel faces a new round of coalition turbulence after her Bavarian sister party dropped to a historic low in a regional election that exposed the scope of voter disaffection with Germany’s political establishment.  View Article
POLITICO: Life wouldn’t necessarily be worse without EU, survey finds
Close to two out of three Europeans aren’t convinced life would be any worse without the European Union, according to a new survey. Europeans want more transparency in EU processes and ask Brussels to focus on real issues such as jobs, security, and climate change.  View Article


Directive on business insolvency: Council agrees its position
The directive aims at providing access by viable enterprises in financial difficulties to preventive restructuring frameworks to enable them to restructure at an early stage, and so prevent insolvency.  View Article


European Commission: EMU. Main legal texts and policy documents for further strengthening of the EMU 2018
The establishment of the European and Monetary Union (EMU) has, inter alia, required an intense legislative activity to lay the institutional foundations and set the rules governing the behaviour of euro area members. This compilation, issued by the European Commission, brings together the core legal texts on the EMU and the euro.  View Article
OMFIF: Merkel setback hurts EMU reform chances
The stunning setback for Germany's coalition parties in Sunday's Bavarian state elections will toughen Chancellor Angela Merkel's already difficult task of winning consensus for reforming and strengthening the structure of economic and monetary union.   View Article
ACCA/IMA: Global economic confidence falls sharply amid growing trade tensions
The latest Global Economic Conditions Survey (GECS) from ACCA and IMA has revealed confidence fell in the third quarter of 2018, it is lowest since the beginning of 2016. News flow about trade tensions has greatly impacted on confidence within the world’s biggest economies – the US and China.  View Article
ECA: Audits in 2019 will focus on key challenges the EU currently faces
The ECA published its work programme for 2019, in which the auditors give details of their audit priorities and the reports they intend to publish next year.  View Article
ECA: EU revenues - new proposal not based on fully robust assumptions and still complex
A proposed reform of the way money is raised to fund the EU remains complex, according to an Opinion published today by the ECA. The auditors identify a number of issues with the proposed reform and call for changes to improve how it would operate.  View Article
ACCA: Collaborative economy and new business models’ challenges debated at multi-stakeholder conference
EU and international policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics, finance professionals and civil society discussed opportunities and limits of new business models at joint ACCA, UEAPME and European Movement International conference in Brussels.  View Article
Euro area international trade in goods surplus €11.7 bn
The euro area recorded a €11.7 bn surplus in trade in goods with the rest of the world in August 2018, compared with +€15.3 bn in August 2017.   View Article
Annual inflation up to 2.1% in the euro area
The Euro area annual inflation rate was 2.1% in September 2018, up from 2.0% in August. A year earlier, the rate was 1.5%. European Union annual inflation was 2.2% in September 2018, stable compared to August. A year earlier, the rate was 1.8%.   View Article

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