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19 March 2008

This week in "Brussels"

EPF: Are the Lamfalussy regulatory networks working successfully?

19 March 2008

The EPF released a paper on the Lamfalussy regulatory networks. “The existence of closer links between sectoral supervisors could eventually have ramifications for the debate in relation to institutional design as it could make the possibility of a Euro-FSA seem more plausible”, the authors state. View

ECON published working document on Hedge Funds

19 March 2008

The EP ECON committee made public its working document on Hedge Funds which will look at the behaviour of private equity and hedge funds in the current crisis and examine their behaviour in worsened credit market conditions. View

IASB discussion paper to reducing complexity in reporting financial instruments - IAS 39

19 March 2008

The IASB published for public comment a discussion paper Reducing Complexity in Reporting Financial Instruments. The document is the first stage in a project which aims to replace IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement. View

FSA Japan publishes FAQ on notification requirements for foreign audit firms

19 March 2008

The FSA Japan published the "Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Notification Requirements for Foreign Audit Firms" to provide a comprehensive picture of the newly introduced Notification Requirements for Foreign Audit Firms. View

CEA – collective redress schemes should not result in disincentives for business

18 March 2008

Responding to the consultation on collective redress benchmarks, CEA notes that any new EU initiative on collective redress systems should be based on evidence that it will address a clearly identified consumer detriment and must be a proportionate response to the problem identified. View

CESR comments on IASB Exposure Draft on IFRS 1 and IAS 27

18 March 2008

CESR issued its comments on the IASB’s Exposure Draft on amendments to IFRS 1 and IAS 27. CESR notes that the IASB has included two new issues as an amendment to IAS 27. However, IASB's argumentation does not appear to be very clear. View

MLex: Northern Rock "must shrink" says EC

18 March 2008

The European Commission has conceded publicly that Northern Rock will have to downsize if it is to map out a future in line with EU state aid rules. View

FSA Japan issues Q&A on Financial Instruments and Exchange Act

18 March 2008

The FSA Japan published a Questions and Answers document about the “Financial Instruments and Exchange Act”. View

SEC Atkins underlines importance of regulatory cooperation

18 March 2008

“We share with the Europeans the realization of the importance of looking at our markets from an international perspective”, Commissioner Paul Atkins said. “The thoughts of European regulators are increasingly relevant on this side of the Atlantic”, he said and underlined that regulators must facilitate the internationalization of the financial markets. View

Deutsche Bank CEO calls for concerted actions to re-establish trust in markets

18 March 2008

Deutsche Bank AG chief executive Ackermann called for concerted actions by governments, central banks and banks to re-establish trust in the stricken global financial markets. "I do not believe in the markets' ability to heal themselves any more," he said. View

Commission Payments Newsletter March 2008

18 March 2008

The Commission published its latest Payments Newsletter. On the revision of the cross-border payments Regulation, the amended Regulation could be presented to the European Parliament and to the Council in October 2008. View

BIS statistics on payment and settlement systems in selected countries - Figures for 2006

17 March 2008

The BIS published its annual statistics on payment and settlement systems that provides data in the CPSS countries. View

FSA Japan launches new electronic corporate disclosure system

17 March 2008

The FSA Japan launched a new EDINET (Electronic Disclosure for Investors' NETwork) system. All listed or major fund-raising companies and investment funds in Japan are required to file their disclosure documents using the system. View

Commission call for applications for new ESME members

17 March 2008

The Commission services published a call for applications to appoint some new members for the European Securities Markets Expert Group. View

Independent: Northern Rock revamp to be revealed, but EU casts a shadow

16 March 2008

Ron Sandler, the man charged by Gordon Brown with overseeing the running of Northern Rock as a nationalised company, is expected to deliver his much-anticipated restructuring report to the Treasury. View

Times: Small funds face credit squeeze as prime brokers withdraw financial support

14 March 2008

London’s embattled hedge fund community is bracing for a spate of blow-ups in the wake of yesterday’s $16 billion debt default by Carlyle Capital Corporation, the Dutch-listed affiliate of the American private equity group. View

European Council 13-14 March

14 March 2008

The European Council discussed the recent turmoil in international financial markets and measures to respond to it and prevent such crises in the future. The European Council also addressed the future of sovereign wealth funds. View

ECOFIN interim report sets out key priorities to enhance financial stability

14 March 2008

“The risk of a spill-over to the real economy is more likely to materialise”, the interim report to the European Council finds. “The uncertainty about the scale and distribution of further losses overall remains. At the same time, indications of contagion have started to appear in other credit markets.” View

EBF calls for closer supervisory co-operation and convergence

14 March 2008

The EBF calls for closer co-operation and convergence of European supervisory bodies. A key aspect could be to grant 3L3 Committees an increased visibility at the European level, EBF states. View

German Banking Association welcomes international early-warning system

14 March 2008

The German Banking Association welcomed the proposal to set up an early-warning system at international level. Besides dealing with the current consequences, the priority should be detecting future crises in good time. View

Speech Kuneva: Consumer Day 2008

14 March 2008

“On financial services, understandable information, transparent costs and clear comparability of offers are essential features”, Commissioner Kuneva said in her remarks on the Consumer Day 2008. View

FT: Allianz to split Dresdner Bank

14 March 2008

Dresdner Bank, owned by Allianz, the German insurer, is to be split into two separate businesses. Allianz has come under repeated pressure to exit investment banking because of the earnings volatility that the business has caused since it bought Dresdner in 2001. View

Federal Reserve Bank and JPMorgan bail-out Bear Stearns

14 March 2008

JPMorgan announced that, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank, it has agreed to provide secured funding to Bear Stearns, as necessary, for an initial period of up to 28 days. View

Comment Krugman: Betting the Bank - the Fed is desperate

14 March 2008

Four years ago, an academic economist named Ben Bernanke co-authored a technical paper that could have been titled “Things the Federal Reserve Might Try if It’s Desperate”. Today, the Fed is indeed desperate, and Mr. Bernanke is putting some of the paper’s suggestions into effect. View

SEC statement on Bear Stearns Companies

14 March 2008

The SEC released a statement regarding the Bear Stearns Companies decision of the Federal Reserve Bank.  "As of its most recent capital calculation as of the end of February 2008, Bear Stearns' holding company capital exceeded relevant regulatory standards" View

China mainland "open" to Taiwan banks

14 March 2008

The mainland is "open" to Taiwan banks investing in their mainland peers, the banking regulator said Wednesday.  "For us, there is no problem," Xia Lingwu, spokesman for the China Banking Regulatory Commission, said. View

finextra: MasterCard claims US court ruling 'reaffirms legality of interchange'

14 March 2008

MasterCard has praised the decision of a US appeals court to dismiss an interchange fee lawsuit brought by a group of merchants, saying the ruling reaffirms the "legality" of the current fee structure. View

Bank of Japan action plans for fiscal 2008

14 March 2008

The Bank has released its Action Plans for Fiscal 2008 which comprises the set of issues and concrete action plans that the Bank should tackle during the coming fiscal year in order to achieve the goals of its "Medium-Term Strategic Framework for Fiscal 2005-2009". View

Financial services industry report recommends new EU retail product framework for real estate funds

13 March 2008

The Commission has published an industry report analysing the EU market for open-ended real estate funds, which provide investors with access to professionally managed investments in commercial and other types of property. View

IMA welcomes European passport for retail real estate funds

13 March 2008

Responding to the European Commission Expert Group's report on open ended real estate funds IMA calls for caution on proposals to include the European passport within the already established UCITS framework, which has become the global gold standard for liquid and well diversified investment funds. View

EFAMA welcomes Expert Group Report on Open-Ended Real Estate Funds

13 March 2008

EFAMA welcomes the Export Group Report and calls for legislative action by the Commission to put the proposals into effect. However, EFAMA does not share the Expert Group’s opinion that Open-Ended Real Estate Funds should be included in the UCITS Directive. View

Paulson calls financial institutions to raise capital

13 March 2008

“Credit markets are not functioning as normal”, treasury secretary Paulson said and issued a call for US financial institutions to raise capital quickly so they can keep lending. “We are encouraging financial institutions to continue to strengthen balance sheets by raising capital and revisiting dividend policies”, Paulson said. View

PWG sets out policy recommendations on financial turmoil

13 March 2008

The Presidents Working Group issued a policy statement which analyses the underlying factors contributing to the recent financial turmoil and provides policy issues and recommendations for supervisors and market participants on the national as well as on the international level. View

CFTC to review risk controls and build regulatory networks

13 March 2008

CFTC Chairman Walt Lukken announced the creation of regulatory networks to react to recent financial market developments. “No matter the size of the agency, individual regulators do not have the resources to sufficiently monitor the breadth of the global marketplace”, Lukken said. View

IFRIC Update March 2008

13 March 2008

IFRIC met in London on 6 March when it discussed among others IFRIC D21 Real Estate Sales, and IFRIC D22 Hedges of a Net Investment in a Foreign Operation. View

ESBG: No US-model of the “class actions” on consumer collective redress

12 March 2008

The ESBG considers that the Commission should proceed very cautiously and should bear in mind that some Member States have already in place collective redress mechanisms. View

FEE comments on IASB Exposure Draft to IAS 39

12 March 2008

The FEE shares EFRAG reservation on whether it is appropriate to amend the main body of IAS 39 by defining the items eligible to hedge accounting on the basis of a limited list of risks and portions. However, FEE does not support the proposed amendments, which add more rules to IAS 39.  View

IAASB Reports on Progress in Achieving Clarity and Convergence

11 March 2008

The IAASB released its 2007 annual report which notes the progress in achieving global convergence to international auditing standards. The report also offers a preview of its proposed future strategy. View

IFAC report on Financial Reporting Supply Chain

06 March 2008

IFAC issued a new report which examines improvements to financial reporting. The report finds that significant improvements have been made to the financial reporting process, corporate governance and auditing, but that financial reports could still be more useful. View

EPC consults on draft version of SEPA Credit Transfer Rulebook

29 February 2008

The EPC made public a draft version of the SCT Rulebook intended for roll-out on 1 February 2009. The Change Request document describes how the change management process works and breaks down the changes into a number of categories and explains the rationale behind these. View

Banque de France - A primer on the sub-prime crisis

29 February 2008

The catalyst of the current financial turmoil has been the losses on the sub-prime mortgage market; the Banque de France states. However, the low quality of these partly collateralised housing loans was known for a while and the default on sub-prime mortgages largely expected. View



26 March 2008

CESR hearing on the role of Credit Rating Agencies

CESR will hold a public hearing for interested market participants at CESR premises in Paris. CESR will welcome interested parties (other than CRAs) attending the hearing. 

Online registration


2 April 2008

CEIOPS hearing on Proportionality and Insurance Groups – Solvency II

CEIOPS will organise a Public Hearing on both Consultation Papers on Proportionality and Insurance Groups in Frankfurt am Main. The topics for discussion will be covered in 2 panel sessions and different presentations related to Insurance Groups and Proportionality. Registration is open until 17 March 2008.

Further information


8 April 2008

Commission hearing on non-harmonised retail funds/real estate funds

The Commission hearing will examine recent developments in European retail funds and assess possibilities for cross-border retail distribution of these products and devote particular attention to markets for European real estate funds.

Online registration form, programme


8 April 2008

Cass-Capco Institute Risk Conference

The conference draws together practitioners and academics to discuss how risk can be managed to lessen its impact on business and economic growth. It offers four panel discussions on the topics of "Reputational Risk", "Operational Risk", "Pricing of Risk", and "Challenges of Complex products".

More information, programme


16 April 2008

IBC Legal Conferences' EU and UK Financial Services Forum

The EU and UK Financial Services Forum will assess the key developments mid-way through implementation of the Commissions White Paper on Financial Services. Sir Christopher Bellamy QC from Linklaters LLP in London is chairing the event. Joining him is a panel of experts from the Commission, banks, the Office of Fair Trading, the London Stock Exchange and leading law firms.

More information and booking


June 2008

Commission Public Hearing on "substitute" retail investment products

© Graham Bishop

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