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15 May 2008

This week in "Brussels"

European Finance Forum

Wednesday, 11 June 2008, 10.00 – 13.00 hours, Brussels

Confirmed Speakers:

Wolf Klinz, MEP; Garces Tolon, Cabinet Kuneva; Valerie Bros, Perm Rep France

Topics to include:

Latest developments on UCITS, Retail Financial Services, French Presidency Programme





2 June 2008

Commission Public hearing on 'Insurance Guarantee Schemes'

Speakers and panellists will participate from the European Parliament, CEIOPS, supervisory authorities, guarantee scheme operators, OXERA, the insurance and banking industry, FIN-USE, Finance Ministries and the Commission. Deadline for registrations is 16 May.

Programme, On-line registration


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


11-12 September 2008

Eurofi Conference 2008

The Conference on “EU priorities and proposals of the financial services industry for the Ecofin Council” will take place in Nice, prior to the informal ECOFIN Council session. Speakers include: Joaquin Alunmia, Charlie McCreevy, Wolf Klinz, Michel Pébereau, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, Thomas Steffen, Eddy Weymeersch, Pervenche Berès, Magdalena Kuneva, Christine Lagarde, Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, and many others.

Programme, Further information





BaFin Sanio: New doctrine of "too connected to fail"

15 May 2008

The case of Bear Stearns created a new doctrine, BaFin President Sanio said and strongly opposed recent calls to simplify regulation. “There certainly are many answers to all the difficult questions within a complex international financial system. View

ICE approval causes OFT consultation on competition issues

14 May 2008

ICE Clear Europe has received recognition from the FSA as a UK recognised Clearing House. The approval caused the OFT to consult on competition issues in the derivatives market. View

IIF Dallara calls for voluntary industry best practice

14 May 2008

The debate is not about "self-regulation" versus "more regulation". Instead, there is an emerging consensus on the benefits of reinforcing market-based corrections with improved regulatory incentives and structures, IIF Managing Director Dallara said. View

EFRAG advice and effects study report on IFRIC 13

14 May 2008

EFRAG has completed its due process regarding the Amendment to IFRIC 13 - Customer Loyalty Programmes. EFRAG supports the amendment although two members have concerns about it. View

Fed Kroszner – Implementing Basel II in the US

14 May 2008

Before banks start the implementation of the new Basel II rules “we strongly recommend that banks conduct a sober and frank self-appraisal of their current risk management procedures", Fed Governor Randall Kroszner said. View

ECOFIN meeting

14 May 2008

The Council approved policy and procedures for improving the EU's arrangements for financial supervision and financial stability. It set out steps to develop a European dimension into the mandates of national supervisory authorities and improving the functioning of the 3L3 Committees and the supervision of EU-wide financial groups. View

SEC proposes XBRL standard for financial information disclosure

14 May 2008

The SEC proposes using XBRL technology for company’s financial information. The first interactive data would be made public in early 2009. Companies using IFRS would provide this disclosure for fiscal periods ending in late 2010. View

Bernanke – Financial markets still far from normal

13 May 2008

Although there are some encouraging signs a number of securitization markets remain moribund, risk spreads generally remain quite elevated, and pressures in short-term funding markets persist, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke said. View

EU and US insurers call for bilateral forum

13 May 2008

The US and the European Union should agree to establish a bilateral forum on insurance and re-insurance issues, the CEA and ACLI say. The forum should develop a joint roadmap toward interim and long-term solutions on the re-insurance collateral issue and the EU Solvency II project. View

Commission recommendation to strengthen confidence in statutory audit

13 May 2008

The recommendation strengthens the role of the public oversight authorities in inspections. Independent oversight bodies should play an active role in the inspections of audit firms. Professional associations should no longer take the lead in organizing inspections. View

EU - US joint statement on open investment

13 May 2008

The EU and the US issued a joint statement affirming their commitment to promoting open investment policies. It also insists the importance of appropriate transparency and commercial considerations in state-backed sovereign wealth investments. View

ECB Trichet on adapting the international financial architecture

13 May 2008

The IASB and other relevant standard-setters should take urgent action to improve the accounting and disclosure standards for off-balance sheet entities and to enhance guidance on fair value accounting”, Trichet said. “Moreover, the role and uses of credit ratings should be changed.  View

EFRAG advice on the amendment to IFRS 2

13 May 2008

EFRAG has completed its due process regarding the amendment to IFRS 2 Share-based Payment and supports the amendment noting that it is not contrary to the ‘true and fair principle’. View

IPE: EC fires warnings over tax and governance

12 May 2008

The Commission is making fresh moves to rectify the discrimination of overseas pension funds by the Spanish and Portuguese governments over dividends tax along with legal breaches concerning corporate governance. View

EFRAG's Final Comment Letter on D24 Customer Contributions

09 May 2008

EFRAG is concerned that the wording in the consensus seems to assume that in all cases the access provider accepts an ongoing obligation to provide access in return for the contribution. The draft Interpretation would benefit further if clear reference to IAS 18 were made, EFRAG notes. View

ECB April 2008 bank lending survey

09 May 2008

The ECB published its report on the results of the April 2008 bank lending survey for the euro area. The survey also included a set of ad-hoc questions to gauge the extent to which the financial market tensions have affected banks’ credit standards for loans and credit lines to enterprises and loans to households. View

SEC Cox comments on CRAs and Fair Value

09 May 2008

The SEC will consider proposed new rules to strengthen the rating agencies' accountability and transparency, and make their industry more competitive within the coming weeks, SEC chairman Christopher Cox said. Also, the apparent pro-cyclicality of fair value accounting will be reconsidered. View

IPE: German gov’t plans threaten pension savings

09 May 2008

The German government wants to make it more attractive for companies to offer their employees shareholdings. Employer and pension industry representatives fear this might have a negative effect on supplementary pension provision. Tax incentives and new employee participation models for non-listed companies are to be introduced by 2009 under these proposals. View

ECON study: Financial Supervision and Crisis Management in the EU

09 May 2008

Financial regulation and crisis management have not kept pace with changes in the structure of financial markets, a study commissioned by the ECON committee says. A lack of focus on the changing systemic characteristics of the financial system is a significant characteristic of Basel II and the CRD. View

© Graham Bishop

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