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03 April 2008

This week in "Brussels"

Speech Kroes: Policy paper on compensating victims of competition breaches

03 April 2008

Competition Commission Kroes outlined the main principles set out in the Commission White Paper. “Collective redress is an absolute necessity”, Kroes said. The Commission therefore suggests a combination of two complementary mechanisms, the ‘opt-in collective actions’ and ‘representative actions’. View

Commission feedback statement on call for evidence on retail investment

03 April 2008

Stakeholders differed widely in their assessment of whether different sectoral rules on product transparency and distribution gave rise to investor protection concerns. Responses from all consumers, many public authorities and some industry sectors revealed concern that these differences may give rise to risks to investors. View

MLex: EC's Visa investigation puts national card fee probes on hold

02 April 2008

The approach adopted by Visa Europe and the European Commission to reach a settlement over the maligned payment card fees departs significantly from the strategy of rival MasterCard and has led national regulators to put similar probes on hold. A related part of the commission's investigation, into card acceptance rules, may, however, not be blessed with such consensus. View

Visa Europe to strike deal on interchange fee

02 April 2008

“We believe the best way forward would be to reach a new agreement with the Commission”, a Visa Europe spokesman said last Wednesday reacting to the formal investigation into Visa's fee system last month. “We see no evidence that Visa Europe’s interchange has acted as a tax on consumption or has caused consumers to pay twice.” View

EU-US Coalition Report on Financial Regulation

02 April 2008

The 'EU-US Coalition on Financial Regulation' issued its second report, which argues strongly for the early adoption of a more open, inclusive and effectively regulated transatlantic marketplace. View

BIS: Joint Forum consults on Credit Risk Transfer

02 April 2008

The Joint Forum released a paper for consultation on Credit Risk Transfer responding to the request from the FSF. The paper is focused on the performance in the last two years of credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations. The paper makes a number of recommendations that the industry and regulatory community can take. View

CSDs start joint venture to improve post-trade efficiency

02 April 2008

Seven Central Securities Depositories signed an agreement to establish a joint venture called “Link Up Markets” to improve efficiency and reduce costs of post-trade processing of cross-border securities transactions in Europe, scheduled to be launched in the first half of 2009. View

CEIOPS new working group on consumer protection

02 April 2008

The new Committee on Consumer Protection (CCP) tasks include supporting the Commission in developing insurance guarantee schemes, and to foster supervisory convergence in the effective functioning of the IMD and contribute to a future review of the IMD. View

FSA Japan amends Guidelines for Financial Instruments Business Supervision

02 April 2008

The FSA Japan published the partial amendment of the Guidelines for Financial Instruments Business Supervision. The revised Guidelines for Financial Instruments Business Supervision will become effective on 2 April 2008. View

Commission investigation into UK aid package for Northern Rock

02 April 2008

The Commission launched an in-depth investigation into the UK authorities' package of measures to support the restructuring of Northern Rock. The decision also invites third parties to comment on whether the plan's proposals for avoiding undue distortions of competition are adequate. View

CESR review on UCITS Guidelines

02 April 2008

CESR published the results of CESR members self-assessment of their implementation of the CESR Guidelines to simplify the notification procedure of UCITS, and the results of CESR’s revision of its FESCO/CESR standards, guidelines and recommendations which are now superseded by the Lamfalussy Directives. View

McCreevy outlines policy response to financial turmoil

02 April 2008

Commissioner McCreevy disclosed the Commissions' proposals for changes to the CRD and the strengthening of supervisory convergence to be presented at the informal ECOFIN meeting in Slovenia. Speaking before the EP ECON Committee McCreevy said that the revised CRD proposal is envisaged to be adopted by early autumn with a view to coming to an agreement by April 2009. View

EFR calls on ECOFIN to avoid regulatory overreaction

02 April 2008

The EFR underlined that the financial turmoil strengthens the case for lead supervision and calls on the ECOFIN to include a European dimension in the mandates of supervisors. A regulatory over-reaction to the financial turmoil should be avoided. View

CESR consultation on CRAs reveals need for transparency, but not for regulation

02 April 2008

The majority of respondants supported the CESR proposal to increase transparency of CRAs, although the required level and extent varies, and some respondents warned that too much of it may also be harmful. Also, BBA and LIBA underlined that CRAs should not be held responsible for inappropriate decisions by investors. View

IMCO meeting 1-2 April

02 April 2008

Commissioner Kuneva outlined the concept of the consumer scoreboard which will be a statement on the performance of markets from the consumer perspective. The overall objective is the integration of the still existing 27 retail markets. Cross-border trade and distance-selling are of particular importance. View

CEIOPS General Protocol on collaboration of insurance supervisory authorities

01 April 2008

The General Protocol revises the former "Siena Protocol" and contains provisions for handling cross-border complaints. The procedures and information described in the Protocol constitute minimum requirements. View

CEIOPS survey on proposals for amending the IMD and the Luxembourg Protocol

01 April 2008

CEIOPS Intermediaries Expert Group (IMEG) presented the conclusions reached for possible amendments to the Insurance Mediation Directive and/or the Luxembourg Protocol. CEIOPS decided to conduct this inquiry based on the conclusions reached during the drafting of its Report on the implementation of Key Issues of the IMD. View

Commission call for advice on QIS4 and technical specifications

01 April 2008

The Commission Services sent CEIOPS a Call for Advice along with detailed technical specifications asking them to run a fourth Quantitative Impact Study between April and July 2008. A report on the results of the exercise is due to be published November 2008. View

ECON meeting 1 April

01 April 2008

The Solvency II directive might experience further delay. The chair of the ECON Committee set the provisional deadline for amendment on mid-June, with a consideration not taking place before September. ECON also held an exchange of views with Commissioner McCreevy on possible legislative consequences resulting from the latest developments in the financial services sector. View

EBF letter to Council on cross-border post-trading arrangements

31 March 2008

EBF made clear that it does not support any consideration to extend the Clearing and Settlements Code of Conduct to derivatives, listed or OTC traded, or bonds in the present situation. With regard to the CESR-ESCB Standards, FBE calls on the Council to ensure that there is no double regulation of banks. View

Treasury Blueprint for Stronger Regulatory Structure

31 March 2008

The recommendations should not and will not be implemented until after the present market difficulties are past", said Secretary Paulson in remarks presenting the Blueprint at the Treasury Department. “The idea here was to put forward an aspirational model, which could only be achieved after many years.” View

AMF Regulation and Asset Management Newsletter

31 March 2008

AMFs main priorities for asset management regulation in 2008 will not be affected by the financial market turmoil, Gérard Rameix, AMF General Secretary said in his opening remarks to the 5th Asset Management letter. In 2008 the AMF intends, among others, to implement amended regulations and procedures for small investment management companies. View

FT: Bush and Brown in push to deal with crisis

31 March 2008

George Bush and Gordon Brown have agreed to step up co-operation over the crisis in financial markets. They are setting up a joint working group which will develop plans to monitor and regulate the banking system.  View

Times: G7 to press big banks to reveal extent of credit crunch losses

31 March 2008

The world’s big banks are to face stronger demands from finance ministers and central bankers of the Group of Seven leading economies to declare the full scale of their exposure to losses from the US housing market slump and the global credit crunch. View

CESR recommends equivalence of Japanese and US GAAPs, but not Chinese

31 March 2008

CESR recommends the Commission find US and Japanese GAAP equivalent equivalent to IFRS for use on EU markets. However, CESR recommends postponing a final decision on Chinese GAAP until there is more information on the application of the new Chinese accounting standards by Chinese issuers. View

IFSL report: Global Securitisation Expect to Drop a Quarter in 2008 on Back of Credit Crunch

31 March 2008

The global market for securitisation has suffered a serious setback since September 2007, with issues falling away in the final months of the year. IFSL's Securitisation report notes that strong issuance in the first half meant that global issuance in 2007 was down only 8% to $3,826bn from the previous year's high of $4,138bn. View

IFSL Report: SWFs to become important participants in global financial markets

31 March 2008

SWFs are likely to become more important participants in global financial markets over the coming years as inflows from trade surpluses and commodities exports continue. Assets under management of sovereign wealth funds increased 18% in 2007 to reach $3.3 trillion. View

FSF discussions on challenges to financial markets

29 March 2008

The FSF met in Rome on 28-29 March to discuss the current challenges in financial markets, the steps that are being taken to address them and policy options going forward. View

Forbes: Inside the Paulson Plan

29 March 2008

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's proposed sweep of financial regulation would emphasize more control at the federal level, at the expense of state oversight, and consolidate an alphabet soup of existing agencies.  The idea is bound to provoke heated debate on Capitol Hill and among the various banking and market oversight agencies, which are already tripping over each others' turf. View

US Treasury’s summary of the Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform

29 March 2008

Treasury presents a series of "short-term" and "intermediate-term" recommendations that could immediately improve and reform the U.S. regulatory structure. The short-term recommendations focus on taking action now to improve regulatory co-ordination and oversight in the wake of recent events in the credit and mortgage markets. View

Commission Economic Papers: Financial Market Integration under EMU

28 March 2008

The EMU has eliminated a key obstacle to financial integration. But while a single currency is a necessary condition for the emergence of pan-European capital markets, it is not a sufficient one, the paper argues. Other frictions such as persistent differences in regulations applying to financial intermediaries may still stand in the way of full integration. View

JURI working paper on ECON report on hedge funds and private equity

28 March 2008

Rapporteur Piia-Noora Kauppi concentrates on the positive role hedge funds play in the European economy and proposes several non-legislative measures to meet enhanced transparency requirements. Instead of further regulation, member states ought to co-ordinate their regulatory requirements and simplify the legal environment, Mrs. Kauppi notes. View

CEIOPS members meeting

28 March 2008

Members approved a number draft documents for further development or publication after editing. CEIOPS also announced the imminent launch of the QIS4 exercise on 2 April 2008. View

UK and France agree on closer co-operation

28 March 2008

The UK and France agreed on closer co-operation at EU and international level. In a joint summit declaration, both countries agreed on the need for greater transparency in financial markets to ensure that banks make full and prompt disclosure of the scale of write-offs, including finding ways to give greater certainty on the valuations of complex financial assets. View

Business week: Sarkozy wants capitalism with rules

28 March 2008

Financial markets need rules to ensure competition is truly fair, French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "The absence of laws doesn't spell freedom; it's the jungle. It's not fair competition, it's unfair competition." View

FT: Call to improve plumbing of fund processing

28 March 2008

The processing of fund transactions in Europe may be entering the modern age at last. The post-sale treatment of investment funds has long been the poor relation in the unglamorous but essential business of financial plumbing in Europe. View



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

ECON Hearing on Hedge Funds

Room: A1G-2, Listening room: PHS 4B001


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


6 May 2008

3L3 open hearing on information on payer accompanying a funds transfer

CEIOPS, CESR, and CEBS will hold an open hearing on common understanding of the information on the payer accompanying a funds transfer. The hearing will take place at CEBS’ office in London.


15-16 May 2008

Brussels Economic Forum

Forum will include sessions on growth and adjustment in the euro area, the euro and global financial markets, euro-area governance, and the medium-term challenges for Economic and Monetary Union. Online registration is open until 26 April 2008.

Online registration, draft programme


17-18 June 2008

FESE Convention

The 12th FESE Convention in Stockholm will focus on the most topical market and policy developments affecting the exchange industry and financial services institutions. Issues include the latest developments in integration of the EU-US financial services markets, a special focus on MiFID implementation, Clearing and settlement of securities, financial stability in global capital markets, and trading and risk management in global derivatives markets.

Programme, registration


15 July 2008

Commission Public Hearing on "substitute" retail investment products


© Graham Bishop

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