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30 September 2010

This week in "Brussels"

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Financial Services Policy Banking Securities
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Edited Minutes of key legislative Bodies Brief Opinions/Commentaries Best of Media
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Articles from 23 September 2010 - 30 September 2010

Financial Services Policy

EU economic governance: the Commission delivers a comprehensive package of legislative measures
New enforcement mechanisms are foreseen for non-compliant Member States. The recently agreed "European semester" will integrate all revised and new surveillance processes into a comprehensive and effective economic policy framework.  View Article
Barroso: Financial services must make a positive contribution to the real economy
Speaking at the Eurofi Financial Forum in Brussels, Barroso highlighted that the financial sector has benefited from a lot of solidarity, and it is time to return the favour by showing great responsibility. Moreover, the financial sector has to show that it is no longer part of the problem.  View Article
Joint Statement by CFTC Gensler and Commissioner Barnier on financial reform agenda
They discussed the utility of position limits as a critical element in the regulatory toolkit for the oversight of physical commodity markets as well as other derivatives products, as such limits can restrict the ability of a trader to hold an excessively concentrated position.  View Article
ECON committee: Parliament must play a central role in forging the new economic governance model
The debate between Trichet and MEPs focused on the current economic scenario and economic forecasts, international financial regulation, austerity policies and the sovereign debt crisis.  View Article
EP CRIS committee draws its lessons from financial crisis
The special committee on the financial, economic and social crisis adopted by large majority its interim report on the lessons learned, just as EU commissioner Olli Rehn presents new proposals on strengthening economic governance.  View Article
ECB Vítor Constâncio: Challenges and opportunities of the European Systemic Risk Board
He stressed that the ESRB will have access to ample sources of information on risks. Therefore, the development of the appropriate infrastructure for pooling such information on an EU-wide basis will be a major step forward in the assessment of financial stability in the single market.  View Article
IMF says steps needed to avert systemic liquidity shortages
The inability of financial institutions to obtain short-term funding during the financial crisis was the result of weaknesses in risk management by the institutions themselves, serious and unforeseen issues in how wholesale funding markets work, and regulatory gaps.  View Article
CFTC Gensler: The effectiveness of the OTC derivatives reform depends on the US and EU ability to cooperate and find general consensus
He stressed that both the US and Europe recognize the need for very robust risk management standards, particularly as more swaps are moved into central clearing houses.  View Article
Top 25 Financial Sectors to get mandatory IMF check-up
The list of jurisdictions for these mandatory assessments is based on the size and interconnectedness of their financial sectors, and will be reviewed periodically to make sure it reflects developments in the global financial system.  View Article
EFR: The success of the EU supervisory package will depend on its concrete implementation
The different business models of banks and (re)insurers need to be taken into account. Several technical and operational challenges remain. The ESRB and the ESAs should, where appropriate, consult the financial services industry before decisions are taken.   View Article


FT: Basel III reforms to hit investment banking arms
New research from Morgan Stanley shows that UBS will see its risk-weighted assets rise 60 per cent, Barclays’ will jump 44 per cent and Credit Suisse’s will rise by 31 per cent under two sets of rule changes recently approved by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.  View Article
Commission approves restructuring of German savings bank Sparkasse KölnBonn
According to the restructuring plan the bank will concentrate on providing traditional retail banking services to retail customers and small and medium-sized firms, withdraw from other activities and divest non-core subsidiaries.   View Article
EBF comments on the Development of pan-European access to financial information disclosed by listed companies
For the sake of investors, the EBF supports the efforts to facilitate access to regulated information even further for as long as it is done on the basis of a thorough assessment of expected costs and benefits.   View Article
ECB Bini Smaghi: Basel III and monetary policy
He remarked that Basel III will cause banks to change their investment behaviour and may change the structure of some financial market segments, thereby affecting the transmission channels of monetary policy.   View Article


AMF released the 2009-2010 report
The Report covers AMF‘s activities for the fiscal year 2009-2010, particularly with respect to the administration of the following laws: the Deposit Insurance Act, the Securities Act, An Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services and the Derivatives Act.  View Article
IMF: Reducing role of credit ratings would aid markets
New IMF analysis says that ratings have inadvertently contributed to financial instability - in financial markets during the recent global crisis and, more recently, with regard to sovereign debt.  View Article


CEIOPS consults on its draft methodology for equivalence assessments under Solvency II
The proposed methodology has been developed for use in respect of assessments undertaken by CEIOPS, and in the future by EIOPA. CEIOPS has concentrated on the procedural aspects relevant to equivalence assessments.  View Article
CEA publishes key statistical data on European insurance sector
The figures do not include the small insurance associations under regional “Land” supervision in Germany, the 45 mutual insurers (“Mutuelles 45”) in France, the Belgian mutuals and the companies under regional supervision in Spain.  View Article

Asset Management

ECMI: Where does Europe stand on the AIFMD? - Dispelling myths and challenging real
The report concludes that it is important to note that AIFs play a key role in the economy as sources of long-term finance and, increasingly, as investment opportunities for institutional clients, including pension funds.   View Article
FSA worried over excessive EU rules but remains committed to proportionate solution for hedge fund pay
FSA warned that the European Union’s attempts at “misguided” regulation could drive hedge funds out of Europe and wants a “proportional” solution.  View Article
Global Venture Capital congress urges European legislators to protect SME’s from pending AIFMD
They also highlighted that venture capital investment creates jobs and companies - and in no way results in any systemic financial risk.   View Article

Corporate Governance/Accounting

CESR review identifies improvements in financial information throughout Europe in 2009
The report shows both an increase in regulators’ enforcement activities and greater consistency regarding the actions taken by enforcers.  View Article
NYSE published report on corporate governance
The report identified 10 core governance principles covering the scope of the board’s authority, management’s responsibility for governance and the relationship between shareholders’ trading activities, voting decisions and governance.  View Article
ICAEW: FASB financial instruments proposal increases complexity and complicates convergence
ICAEW believes that the IASB’s new ‘mixed measurement’ model, which results in financial instruments being stated at either amortised cost or fair value in the primary financial statements provides more relevant and understandable information to users of financial statements.   View Article
Commission’s report on the funding of the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation
The Commission examines the latest developments concerning governance, without prejudging the debate about the need for further and more comprehensive reforms of the IFRS Foundation’s governance.  View Article
FSA consults on improving auditors' reports on client assets
The consultation paper sets out ten proposals that aim to drive improvements in the quality and consistency of auditors’ reports on client assets.  View Article

Brief Opinions/Commentaries

Nicolas Verón: Financial newcomers will have global impact
Nicolas Verón argues that the crisis accelerates the eastward shift of the center of gravity of global finance, and that we need to adjust our mental maps in order to prevent mistrust and harmful confrontation.   View Article
Wolfgang Munchau: The truth behind the European Financial Stability Facility
Munchau concludes that the total money for lending is approximately €250bn, and that the interest rates could be as high as 8%. However, many market participants disagree and believe that the EFSF will be considered a much better market risk.   View Article

Best of Media

Corriere della Sera: EU pulls a break on the public debts
The Commission tightens the rules of the SGP in order to discourage new „Greek cases“.   View Article
El País: BBVA believes that the Spanish economy has "bottomed out"
The BBVA Research Department estimated that GDP will grow by almost 0.2% in the third quarter, slightly above their estimates, according to its latest report on Status and prospects of the Spanish economy.   View Article

© Graham Bishop

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