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17 April 2008

This week in "Brussels"

Commission consults on insurance block exemption regulation

17 April 2008

The Commission will have to decide whether or not to renew the BER after March 2010. The consultation paper determines how the BER is being used and what its impact on the various insurance markets in the EU are. The consultation will be combined with targeted questionnaires sent to industry, national regulatory and competition authorities, and consumer groups. View

Commission cuts administrative burdens for SMEs in EU company law

17 April 2008

SME parent companies with no material subsidiaries don’t need to prepare consolidated accounts, and medium-sized companies can be exempted from providing detailed data in the annual accounts. The Commission also approved proposals for two other measures to reduce administrative burdens for SMEs related to publishing business data in the national gazettes, and to use certified translations when opening branches in other Member States. View

EFRAG recommends adoption of IFRIC 14

17 April 2008

EFRAG submitted its endorsement advice letter and Effects Study Report on IFRIC 14 'IAS 19 - The Limits on a defined benefit asset, minimum funding requirements and their interaction' to the European Commission. View

EFRAG recommends adoption of IAS 1 Revised

17 April 2008

EFRAG submitted its endorsement advice letter and Effects Study Report on the IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements to the European Commission. View

BCBS measures to enhance Basel II

16 April 2008

The Basel Committee will revise the Basel II Capital Framework to establish higher capital requirements for certain complex structured credit products, such as so-called "re-securitisations" or CDOs of ABS. It will also strengthen the capital treatment of liquidity facilities extended to support off-balance sheet vehicles such as ABCP conduits. In July, the Committee will publish, for consultation, global sound practice standards for the management and supervision of liquidity risks. View

Commission consults on potential changes to CRD

16 April 2008

The possible changes to the Capital Requirements Directive include amendments to large exposures, hybrid capital instruments, and supervisory arrangements. The suggested measures concerning large exposures and hybrid capital instruments and the adjustments to the technical provisions are largely based on advice from CEBS. View

PWG Hedge Fund Committees issue reports on best practices

16 April 2008

Two private-sector Committees call for hedge funds to improve disclosure and risk management, recommending that hedge funds produce GAAP-compliant financial statements, and provide investors with annual and quarterly reports. The reports are said to be consistent with Britain’s Hedge Fund Working Group recommendations and provide guidance evaluating the appropriateness of hedge funds as a component of an investment portfolio. View

OECD calls for fundamental reform of financial markets

16 April 2008

Fundamental reform of the financial system and its regulation is needed to address the issues highlighted by the current financial markets crisis, according to the OECD Financial Markets Committee. The current regulatory framework is outdated and reflects the “simple” world before globalisation CMF chair Thomas Wieser, from the Austrian Ministry of Finance noted. View

Speech Tumpel-Gugerell: Challenges for the financial community

16 April 2008

“The prime responsibility to foster a financial system lies with financial institutions themselves”, ECB Board Member Tumpel-Gugerell said, “but it seems that regulatory measures are needed too.” Outlining the challenges for financial institutions, she noted that better disclosure of risks, as well as accounting and risk management practices, is of the essence in the short term. View

FT: European banks to decide on Visa rival

16 April 2008

Leading French and German banks hope to decide within months on whether to set up a European debit card payment network that would be a rival to schemes operated by MasterCard and Visa. The banks – which include Commerzbank, Deutsche Bank, Société Générale and BNP Paribas – are in talks with the European Commission over the plan but want more regulatory clarity before they decide to go ahead. View

Trichet outlines key policy lessons and initiatives on financial turbulences

15 April 2008

The opacity as regards markets, financial instruments and real situations of financial institutions is a recipe for catastrophe, ECB President Trichet said. The “shadow banking system” rested on a poorly understood system of credence, provided by rating agencies, and the false perception that the only way for asset prices was upward, he criticized. View

Fed Governor on post-crisis financial architecture

15 April 2008

The business models of many large financial institutions are in the process of significant re-examination and repair, Governor Kevin Warsh said. A changing paradigm of financial intermediation may well be on the horizon, with old business models in the process of being upended. View

BoJ: Characteristics of operational risks faced by Japanese Banks

15 April 2008

A recent study shows that although the operational risk losses of Japanese are smaller than are those of US banks in terms of frequency and severity, they do have some similarities. The article compares the results of the Japanese survey with those of the US survey to highlight the characteristics of operational risk faced by Japanese banks. View

G-7 calls for rapid implementation of the FSF report

14 April 2008

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors identified four recommendations among the immediate priorities for implementation within the next 100 days. Also, the Basel Committee, IOSCO, the IASB, and the Joint Forum are called to accelerate their work to conclude their efforts by end-2008 and that the recommendations of the FSF be fully and effectively implemented. View

MLex: ECB plots break-up of payments 'duopoly', warns against sharp drop in card fees

14 April 2008

The European Central Bank has outlined its political intent to promote a European payments network to rival MasterCard and Visa but stressed that market players should seek “additional clarity” on 'interchange fees' from the European Commission to help build it. In a confidential report, the ECB talks explicitly of how to construct a European rival to MasterCard and Visa, not only for economic benefits but to pursue the explicit political aims of SEPA.  View

EFRAG Update April 2008

14 April 2008

The EFRAG Update summarises the discussions held at the recent EFRAG TEG meetings.  View

FSA Japan newsletter February 2008

14 April 2008

Features include the meeting between Minister for Financial Services Watanabe and SME Managers, the fourth international conference on ''Regional Finance in recent period and the way forward'', a report on the regular consultations with the Chinese authorities. View

FSF final report calls on authorities to be proactive

12 April 2008

Authorities should use international colleges of supervisors for each of the largest global financial institutions by end-2008, the FSF recommends in its final report. Also, supervisors must set capital and liquidity buffers at levels that take account of the potential for risk management failures to occur and that limit damage to markets and the financial system when they occur. View

EFRAG final response to consultation on IFRS 2 and IFRIC 11

12 April 2008

EFRAG is concerned with the way the IASB is proposing to address the issues and would prefer to amend the definitions of IFRS 2 rather than its scope. The amendments proposed do not address how the entity that provides the cash payments should account for the arrangements, EFRAG notes. View

Senior Supervisors Group releases report on disclosure practices

11 April 2008

Senior financial supervisors from five countries issued a report that reviews the disclosure practices of financial services firms concerning their exposures to certain financial instruments that the marketplace now considers to be high-risk. The report provides examples of current leading practices in the reporting of information about exposures associated with such instruments as collateralized debt obligations, special purpose entities and leveraged finance loans. View

IOSCO Report on Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation

11 April 2008

The document sets out 30 principles of securities regulation based upon three objectives of securities regulation which are, investor protection, ensuring that markets are fair, efficient and transparent, and the reduction of systemic risk. View

McCreevy said to propose regulation on CRAs in June

11 April 2008

Commissioner McCreevy will present proposals for more transparency in credit rating agencies in June this year, the German Handelsblatt said, citing a Commission spokesman. Handelsblatt also cites Commission sources plans for an external, independent supervisor for rating agencies. View

CESR published Q&A on MiFID

11 April 2008

In line with the MiFID Level 3 work programme, CESR developed a questions and answers tool that seeks to provide clarity on issues where there is need for common views of EU supervisors. View

AMF amends General Regulation and Instructions for funds of hedge funds

11 April 2008

The changes consist of developing a principles-based regulatory approach under which the responsibilities of asset management companies are more clearly defined, and making technical adjustments to the rules to adapt them to developments in the FoHF industry. View

AMF sets up a working group on major holdings

11 April 2008

Several amendments have been made since 2005 to the rules and regulations governing the notification of major holdings in listed companies. The need for a more detailed interpretation of existing legislation prompted the Board to set up a working group on major holdings chaired by Bernard Field. The group's remit is to put forward proposals that take account of existing practices, both in France and abroad. View

Japans insurance industry supports US ‘Blueprint’

11 April 2008

The General Insurance Association of Japan supports an optional federal charter for insurance as proposed by the US ‘Blueprint’. The GIAJ also welcomes the establishment of an Office of Insurance Oversight (OIO) within the Treasury to handle international regulatory issues such as reinsurance collateral. View

Turquoise to start in September

10 April 2008

London-based share trading platform Turquoise may expand to include other asset classes, Turquoise-Chef Eli Lederman told Financial Times Deutschland in an interview. He reiterated that the platform will launch in September. View

EuroCCP Signs Clearing and Settlement Code of Conduct

10 April 2008

EuroCCP signed the Code of Conduct for clearing and settlement during a meeting at the European Commission in Brussels. The Code was signed formally when it was selected to provide a clearing and settlement solution for Turquoise. View



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


14-15 May 2008

40th ICMA AGM and Conference

The Annual General Meeting and Conference of ICMA will take place at the Hilton Vienna Stadtpark. Among the participants are Jean Claude Trichet, President of the ECB, Mag. Wilhelm Molterer, Finance Minister of Austria; Yves Mersch, President of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, Eugene Rotberg Former Vice President and Treasurer, The World Bank; Louis de Montpellier, Deputy General Manager, BIS.

Further information


15-16 May 2008

Brussels Economic Forum

The 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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