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31 January 2019

This week in "Brussels"

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Articles from 24 January 2019 - 31 January 2019

Banking Union

ECB publishes supervisory banking statistics for the third quarter of 2018
Capital ratio increased slightly in the third quarter of 2018, with total capital ratio at 17.83%. NPL ratio was down to 4.17%, the lowest level since time series first published in 2015. Liquidity coverage ratio remained stable at 140.93%.  View Article
ECB working paper: When losses turn into loans: the cost of undercapitalized banks
This paper studies how a weak banking sector affects productivity and growth in the aftermath of a financial crisis. The author‘s contribution is to establish a credible causal chain from a weak banking sector to adverse effects on productivity and growth.   View Article
ECB: Quantitative easing did not increase inequality in the euro area
This article summarises a recent working paper that examines how the Eurosystem’s quantitative easing has affected wealth and income inequality in the eurozone.  View Article
FCA: LIBOR transition and contractual fallbacks
Speech by Edwin Schooling Latter, Director of Markets and Wholesale Policy at the FCA, in which he addresses what the final steps in transition away from the London Inter-bank Offered Rate (LIBOR) might look like.  View Article
Financial Times: Europe should be wary of the lure of bigger banks
As long as continent-wide deposit insurance remains out of reach, mergers will be risky, writes Simon Samuels.  View Article
ECB working paper: Some borrowers are more equal than others: bank funding shocks and credit reallocation
This paper studies the reallocation of credit within the domestic credit portfolio of banks after a negative funding shock. The particular shock authors focus on is freeze of the interbank funding market around the Lehman collapse.   View Article
ECB to launch a survey of market participants’ expectations in 2019
The key objective of the Survey of Monetary Analysts, which will launch on April 2019, is to gather regular, comprehensive, structured and systematic information on market participants’ expectations of the future evolution of key policy parameters.  View Article
Statement by the Eurogroup President on the nominations for the post of ECB executive board member
Mário Centeno said that the call for candidates to replace European Central Bank Executive Board member Peter Praet, whose term ends on 31 May, is now closed.  View Article

Capital Markets Union

ISDA publishes best practice recommendations for CCPs
ISDA published a set of best practices for central counterparties aimed at ensuring greater consistency in risk practices at CCPs across the globe.  View Article
Financial Times: We must rethink our clearing house rules
Dawn Stump writes that the EU and US should drop duplicative registration requirements.  View Article
ESMA updates plan for systematic internaliser regime calculations and publications
The updated action plan maintains the ongoing publication for equity, equity-like instruments and bonds while postponing the publication for derivatives and other non-equity instruments until at the latest 2020.  View Article
ESMA updates Q&A on Benchmark Regulation
The purpose of this document is to promote common supervisory approaches and practices in the application of the BMR.  View Article
ESMA updates the CSDR Q&As
The updated Q&As provide answers to questions regarding practical issues on the implementation of the new CSDR regime.  View Article
ESMA appoints new chair of the Investment Management Standing Committee
Board of Supervisors of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has appointed Gabriela Figueiredo Dias, Chair of the Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (CMVM) of Portugal, to serve as chair of its Investment Management Standing Committee (IMSC).  View Article


FCA launches consultation on General Insurance value measures data
The FCA has launched a consultation proposing new rules requiring firms to report General Insurance value measures data to the FCA for publication. Alongside the Consultation Paper, the FCA has also published a third annual value measures dataset, covering the period August 2017-August 2018.  View Article
Insurance Europe: Insurers warn that IAIS systemic risk proposals lack clarity
The International Association of Insurance Supervisors’ proposal for a new “holistic framework” for identifying and managing systemic risk in the insurance sector currently lacks sufficient clarity, according to Insurance Europe.  View Article
EIOPA calls for improvements to the assessment of the propriety of board members and qualifying shareholders of insurance companies
The EIOPA published the findings of its peer review examining how national competent authorities (NCAs) assess the propriety of administrative, management or supervisory body (AMSB) members and qualifying shareholders.  View Article
EIOPA elects Patrick Montagner as new member of its Management Board
The Board of Supervisors of the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) elected, effective immediately, Patrick Montagner as a new member of EIOPA's Management Board.   View Article

Asset Management

FRC strengthens Stewardship Code
The FRC is consulting on a new Stewardship Code that sets substantially higher expectations for investor stewardship policy and practice. The Code will focus on how effective stewardship delivers sustainable value for beneficiaries, the economy and society.  View Article
FCA proposes new measures to encourage effective stewardship
The FCA is proposing new measures and gathering views on how to encourage effective stewardship in the interests of investors. Most UK consumers hold investments, for example through their pensions, which are looked after by asset managers. Asset managers have a duty to oversee these investments in their clients’ interests.  View Article
FCA proposes rules on investment pathways and other measures to improve retirement outcomes for consumers
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is today consulting on measures to stop up to 100,000 consumers a year losing out on pension income when they access the pension freedoms.  View Article
PLSA welcomes Financial Reporting Council’s Stewardship Code consultation
The FRC is consulting on a new Stewardship Code that sets substantially higher expectations for investor stewardship policy and practice. The Code will focus on how effective stewardship delivers sustainable value for beneficiaries, the economy and society.  View Article
Investment & Pensions Europe: IORP II: How the EU directive has reshaped the pensions industry
IORP II, the European Union’s sweeping reform of pension fund legislation, came into force on 13 January. It added 43 new articles to the original IORP directive and put a renewed focus on governance and communication standards.  View Article
ALFI: Growth under pressure in a volatile environment
ALFI presented the figures of 2018 as well as the opportunities and challenges for the asset management industry in 2019.  View Article
IA launches first industry-wide consultation on sustainability & responsible investment
The consultation seeks the views of asset managers on key aspects around sustainability and responsible investment, with the aim of bringing greater clarity to help savers and investors navigate and better access this growing feature of the investment management industry.  View Article

Corporate Governance/Accounting

FRC proposes amendments to FRS 101 and FRS 102
The FRC issued FRED 70 Draft amendments to FRS 101 – 2018/19 cycle and FRED 71 Draft amendments to FRS 102 – Multi-employer defined benefit plans.  View Article
EFRAG: Draft Comment Letter on the onerous contracts - cost of fulfilling a contract
EFRAG has published its draft comment letter in response to the IASB's ED 2018/2 Onerous Contracts - Cost of Fulfilling a Contract - Proposed amendments to IAS 37 and seeks constituents' views on the proposals.  View Article
ECA: EFSI’s effectiveness must be better substantiated
The European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) has been effective in raising finance for investments in the EU, but the amounts of investment mobilised may be overstated, according to a new report by the ECA.   View Article
ECGI: Legal personhood and liability for flawed corporate cultures
Although the phrase, ‘corporate culture’, has been described by commentators as ‘inherently slippery’, it is now a central feature of a range international discussions about corporate governance and risk management.  View Article
ACCA and IFAC launch global public financial management (PFM) series
At a time when public sector spending, government accountability and financial sustainability are in the spotlight, ACCA and IFAC are launching a global series that will identify, document and share success stories in public financial management.  View Article
Better protection of whistleblowers: Council adopts its position
The new rules will impose the creation of safe channels for reporting both within an organisation and to public authorities. It will also give a high level of protection against retaliation, and require national authorities to adequately inform on how to deal with whistleblowing.  View Article
The Economist: Efforts to fix the market in auditing rumble on
Regulators in both Britain and Europe want to make audits less cosy.  View Article

Financial Services Policy

IFAC: New education standard focuses on professional development
The IAESB released the revised IES 7, Continuing Professional Development. The standard clarifies the principles and requirements on how professional accountancy organizations measure, monitor, and enforce their continuing professional development systems.   View Article

Grahams Articles, Comments & Speeches

May’s Deal = “Vassal State” OR “Deferred Crash Out” - Only a Government of National Unity (GNU) can solve this now
A Government of National Unity (GNU), argues Graham Bishop, must ask EU27 for a timetable extension to work thoroughly through the options. Then Parliament decides OR puts it back to the people.  View Article


Sigmar Gabriel: Franco-German friendship is not enough
By signing the Treaty of Aachen, Germany and France have taken an important step toward firming up the Franco-German partnership at the heart of the European project. But insofar as the pact excludes all other EU member states, it risks deepening Europe's divisions even further.  View Article
The Guardian: Europe 'coming apart before our eyes', say 30 top intellectuals
Liberal values in Europe face a challenge “not seen since the 1930s”, leading intellectuals from 21 countries have said, as the UK lurches towards Brexit and nationalists look set to make sweeping gains in EU parliamentary elections.  View Article
POLITICO: French, German Eurosceptics plot alliance
While Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel pledge greater cooperation and more European integration, the far right in France and Germany are moving toward an alliance of their own.  View Article
POLITICO: Dutch set out EU goals for 2019
The Netherlands sees itself filling the void left by Britain's departure from the EU — literally — by putting more Dutch civil servants into top positions in Brussels.  View Article
LSE: France and Germany will dominate the EU after Brexit – but they won’t go unchallenged
How will Brexit affect the delicate balance of power in the EU? Ulrich Krotz and Joachim Schild argue that it will boost Franco-German power – but this will not go unchallenged by other EU members, especially the Visegrád bloc and the newly assertive Hanseatic League.  View Article
EurActiv: France’s ‘yellow vests’ to run for European elections
A group of French “yellow vest” protesters announced plans Wednesday (23 January) to field candidates in this year’s European Parliament elections, with a 31-year-old health worker to lead a list that a poll suggests could win up to 13% of the vote.  View Article


Financial Times: Will we see a rerun of a market meltdown, just like in 2016?
Gavyn Davies assesses economists' warnings that global recession risks are high this year and whether the current situation resembles to that in early 2016, when a pause in US monetary tightening, and a Chinese stimulus, unleashed a major extension of the equity bull market.  View Article


Safeguards in free trade agreements: Council adopts horizontal framework for bilateral measures
The Council adopted a regulation streamlining the inclusion of safeguard measures in trade agreements so that they are applied effectively and consistently across the board.   View Article
Mario Draghi: Hearing of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament
The ECB President discussed the euro project and its achievements over the past 20 years. Draghi argued that, building on what the EU has already achieved, its duty today is to continue to make progress in ensuring that all of the euro's benefits are realised in full.  View Article
Financial Times: The cylinders of the global economy are starting to sputter
As the eurozone joins the slowdown, first-quarter growth will be weak, warns the FT.  View Article
Financial Times: ECB warns eurozone at risk of further slowdown
The European Central Bank has sounded the alarm over the eurozone economy, warning a slowdown it thought would be temporary was showing signs of becoming long-lasting because of global trade tensions, Brexit and financial market volatility.  View Article
Financial Times: Deutsche Bank chief warns Davos over impact of trade fears
Christian Sewing, the chief executive of Deutsche Bank, has warned that its large corporate clients in Germany are delaying investments due to escalating tensions over global trade.  View Article
Report on Public Finances in EMU 2018
This annual report presents a review of key policy developments and analytical findings in the area of public finances.  View Article
François Villeroy de Galhau: New Year wishes to the Paris financial centre
The Governor of the Bank of France focused on three wishes for the smooth financing of the economy: for the euro, for financial stability, and finally for inclusive finance.  View Article
ACCA: Tax transparency, complexity, inequality and corruption are the biggest concerns for the public in G20 countries
The newly published sequel to the 2017 G20 public trust in tax report from ACCA, CA ANZ and IFAC reveals a high level of distrust among the public in politicians and non-government organisations when it comes to tax systems.  View Article
European Parliament: EU-Singapore free trade deal gets green light in Trade Committee
Trade Committee MEPs agreed to the EU-Singapore free trade agreement, a stepping stone to cooperation between the EU and Southeast Asia.  View Article
EU-U.S. trade talks: European Commission publishes progress report
The European Commission has published a report on the implementation of the 25 July 2018 Joint Statement agreed by Presidents Juncker and Trump.  View Article
New Europe: Davos: France calls for global minimum corporate tax
From the World Economic Forum in Davos, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called for a new global system of taxation, including a tax on digital giants, thereby ending a race to the bottom of driven by tax havens.  View Article

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