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28 February 2019

This week in "Brussels"

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  Articles from 21 February 2019 - 28 February 2019

  Banking Union
AFME welcomes extension of Benchmarks Regulation transition to 2021
Following the agreement by the Council of the EU and Parliament on the Commission’s low carbon benchmarks proposal, AFME fully supports the two-year extension of the transition regime of the BMR, for critical and third-country benchmarks until the end of 2021.  View Article
EBA publishes Handbook on valuation for purposes of resolution
The EBA published a Handbook on valuation for purposes of resolution. The Handbook, which is addressed to national and EU resolution authorities, aims at fostering the convergence and consistency of valuation practices as well as the interaction with independent valuers across the EU.   View Article
EBA consults on Guidelines on credit risk mitigation for institutions applying the IRB approach with own estimates of LGD
The EBA launched a consultation on its Guidelines on Credit Risk Mitigation in the context of the advanced internal rating-based (A-IRB) approach, aim to eliminate the remaining significant differences in approaches in the area of credit risk mitigation (CRM), which are either due to different supervisory practices or bank-specific choices.   View Article
EBA publishes revised guidelines on outsourcing arrangements
The aim of the guidelines is to establish a more harmonised framework for these financial institutions, namely credit institutions and investment firms subject to the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), as well as payment and electronic money institutions.   View Article
Usability of the taxonomy: EBF responds to European Commission’s Technical Expert Group consultation
Taxonomy should be seen as a common language that could be applied by all (financial and non-financial) market participants to all their activities. The usability of the taxonomy will depend mainly on the way the taxonomy will be implemented, the EBF reminded the Commission.  View Article
ECB sanctions Sberbank Europe AG for breaching large exposure limits in 2015
Sberbank Europe AG found in breach of large exposure requirements on an individual and on a consolidated basis in 2015, for which the ECB imposed a penalty of €630,000.  View Article
  Capital Markets Union
Capital Markets Union: Agreement simplifies rules for investment firms to support open and vibrant capital markets
The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today by the European Parliament and Member States on more proportionate and effective prudential rules for investment firms. This will help to improve investment flows across the EU and deliver better protection for investors.  View Article
Capital markets union: political agreement reached on EU framework for covered bonds
The Romanian Presidency and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on a harmonised framework for covered bonds. This framework will specify a common definition to receive an EU covered bond label and benefit from preferential capital treatment.   View Article
Joint statement by UK and US authorities on continuity of derivatives trading and clearing post-Brexit
Market participants can be assured of the continuity of derivatives trading and clearing activities between the UK and US, after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, following this joint statement by the Bank of England including the Prudential Regulation Authority, FCA and CFTC.  View Article
Andrew Bailey keynote speech on MiFID II at the European Independent Research Providers Association
Mr Bailey reiterated that the FCA maintains a strong support for MiFID II reforms and that it will continue to supervise compliance with its rules to ensure improved conduct standards and value for money for investors.  View Article
FSB: Conference on CCP risk management
Remarks by the Financial Stability Board Secretary General, Dietrich Domanski, at the first joint Deutsche Bundesbank, European Central Bank and Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago conference on central counterparty risk management.  View Article
ECB's Cœuré: The case for cooperation: cross-border CCP supervision and the role of central banks
Remarks by Benoît Cœuré, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB, about enhanced cooperative oversight across borders, the effective oversight of the Eurosystem and the enhancement of the CCP default management.  View Article
  Clients Union
EIOPA: Introductory Statement by Gabriel Bernardino at the Scrutiny Hearing on PRIIPs of the ECON Committee of the European Parliament
Mr Bernardino provides in his statement an update on the ESAs’ work in relation to the delegated acts for the key information documents (KID) for packaged retail and insurance-based investment products (PRIIPs).   View Article
Global Federation of Insurance Associations: IAIS systemic risk proposals must be better defined
To develop an effective holistic framework for systemic risk in the insurance sector, the IAIS must better define systemically risky activities. GFIA encourages a narrow focus on those activities that could cause an impairment of all or parts of the financial system and could have serious negative consequences for the real economy. GFIA also warned that the IAIS’ current proposals are unclear in terms of scope.   View Article
Insurance Europe: Insurers respond to ESRB systemic risk report: no additional prudential rules needed
While Insurance Europe supports an effective macroprudential framework that mitigates potential systemic risk in the financial system - the limited level of systemic risk originating from the insurance industry means additional macroprudential measures are not needed.  View Article
Commercial Risk Europe: European insurance group concerned about negative social effects of regulation
A group of European social partners in the insurance sector, including Insurance Europe and the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE), have signed a statement on the effects of regulatory requirements and compliance on employees.  View Article
EIOPA: Cyber Security and Cyber Risk: A universal Challenge - Keynote speech by Gabriel Bernardino, Chairman, EIOPA
Cyber security and cyber risk both topics are very high on the agenda of any organisation and its management. Mr Bernardino shares his reflections on how he sees the situation, what EIOPA is doing regarding cyber threats and what should be done to cope with the challenge at a global level.  View Article
  Asset Management
Investment firms: Presidency and Parliament agree on a new regulatory and supervision framework
The objective of the reform is to adapt the requirements to the firm's risk profiles and business models while preserving financial stability. The deal will now be submitted for endorsement by EU ambassadors.  View Article
EFAMA publishes its first report on the ownership of investment funds in Europe
The report provides a wealth of facts and figures on the evolution of holdings of financial assets and investment funds among European investors in recent years. It aims to answer three main questions: How have holdings of financial assets and investment funds among European investors evolved in recent years? Who are the main owners of investment funds in Europe? To what extent do European investors hold cross-border investment funds?  View Article
EFAMA welcomes the European Parliament’s approval of the trilogue agreement on the PEPP
EFAMA welcomes approval by the EP's Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) Committee of the trilogue agreement on the proposed “pan-European Personal Pension Product” (PEPP), which paves the way to the development of personal pension products with a European label.   View Article
ESMA publishes responses to its consultation on reporting guidelines under the MMF Regulation
The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the responses received to its Consultation on draft guidelines on the reporting to competent authorities under article 37 of the MMF Regulation.  View Article
  Corporate Governance/Accounting
FRC: Accounting and audit 'no deal' letters
FRC and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have published letters for auditors and accountants to share information in case there is no deal for leaving the EU by Friday 29 March 2019.  View Article
IASB investor publication: Analysing lessee financial statements and Non-GAAP performance measures
Free Cash Flow (FCF) is one of the most commonly used non-GAAP measures by investors in their analysis. In this Essentials publication the IASB highlights attributes of FCF measures reported by lessees that limit comparability with FCF measures reported by companies that buy assets.  View Article
Accountancy Europe: Audit exemption thresholds in Europe
Accountancy Europe´s publication follows up on our 2016 factsheet and presents the current audit exemption thresholds in Europe and how several countries have recently amended them.  View Article
ECGI: The neglected role of justification under uncertainty in corporate governance and finance
According to the paper written by Claire Hill and Alessio Pacces, corporate law should enable companies to adapt the balance between managerial discretion and accountability depending on the uncertainty they face. Companies should be able to enter into dual-class recapitalizations.  View Article
EC: Targeted consultation on the update of the non-binding guidelines on non-financial reporting
As part of its Sustainable Finance Action Plan, the EC launched a targeted consultation with the objective to finalise new guidelines for company reporting on climate-related information. This consultation proposes ways to assess how climate change can impact the financial performance of companies.   View Article
Accountancy Europe: Auditors, bitcoin and the need for mutual trust
Embracing digitalisation will strengthen business and grow analytical skills. But it will also mean managing an ethical and regulatory maze, according to Olaf Riedel, Partner for Digital at Ernst & Young.  View Article
EFRAG: Issuance and call for comments on FICE Early-Stage Analysis Working Paper
The EFRAG Secretariat has issued a Working Paper on the potential effects of the IASB Discussion Paper on Financial Instruments with Characteristics of Equity (FICE).  View Article
  Anti-Money Laundering
Bruegel: The European Union must change its supervisory architecture to fight money laundering
Money laundering scandals at EU banks have become pervasive. Authors Joshua Kirschenbaum and Nicolas Véron detail the weaknesses the current AML architecture's fundamental weaknesses and propose a new framework.  View Article
New Europe: Danske Bank money-laundering scandal appears to have Swedish connection
Swedbank, one of Sweden’s four biggest banks, has become the latest financial institution to be embroiled in the ongoing money-laundering scandal that has engulfed Denmark’s Danske Bank since early last year.  View Article
  Financial Services Policy
Sustainable finance: Presidency and Parliament reach political agreement on low carbon benchmarks
The Romanian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament have reached a preliminary agreement on a proposal creating a new category of financial benchmarks aimed at giving greater information on an investment portfolio's carbon footprint.  View Article
ESMA publishes responses to its Consultations on Sustainable Finance
ESMA published the responses received to its Consultations on integrating sustainability risks and factors in MiFID II, and in the UCITS Directive/AIFMD.  View Article
EBF: Review of the European system of financial supervision
The EBF co-signed a letter with a group of European trade associations on the review of the European system of financial supervision, the so-called ESAs review, in light of the ongoing trilogue negotiations.  View Article
ESMA's Maijoor: Crypto-Assets: time to deliver
ESMA Chair Steven Maijoor delivered a keynote speech at the FinTech Conference 2019 in which he focused on crypto-assets.  View Article
Financial Times: ECB’s Mario Draghi takes veiled swipe at Brexit
Mario Draghi, European Central Bank president, has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at Brexit and populist lawmakers in Rome, saying separation from the EU would deprive businesses and citizens of departing member states of the power to shape the world economic order.  View Article
EPC: Shaping power: A strategic imperative for Europe
In the years to come, the political cohesion and legitimacy of the European Union will increasingly depend on its ability to shape international affairs in ways that meet the expectations and priorities of its citizens.   View Article
POLITICO: Europe’s election void: Just 30 percent of MEPs are confirmed to run again
With less than 100 days until the May 2019 European Parliament election, nearly half of Parliament’s current MEPs do not know whether they are running again. A further 203 (27%) confirmed publicly or to POLITICO that they plan to retire. Just 30% are definitely running again in 2019.  View Article
POLITICO: Socialists nominate Frans Timmermans for European Commission president
European Socialists kicked off their 2019 European Parliament election campaign by officially nominating Frans Timmermans — currently second in command at the European Commission — for the top job, and framing their campaign for European Parliament seats around a "new social contract."  View Article
EurActiv: Italy’s far-right hopes to form new broad Conservative alliance in Europe
Italy’s far-right party Fratelli d’Italia has joined the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE), with the aim of forming a broad right-wing alliance in the next European Parliament following the EU elections in May.  View Article
POLITICO: French poll: Yellow Jackets down, Macron up
A majority of French people want the Yellow Jacket protests to end, according to a poll which also shows a rise in President Emmanuel Macron's popularity.  View Article
FSB invites feedback on the effects of financial regulatory reforms on SME financing
The evaluation forms part of a broader FSB examination of the effects of post-crisis reforms on financial intermediation.  View Article
OECD: Risks rising in corporate debt market
Global outstanding debt in the form of corporate bonds issued by non-financial companies has hit record levels, reaching almost USD 13 trillion at the end of 2018. This is double the amount outstanding in real terms before the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new OECD paper.  View Article
InvestEU: Council agrees its position on an improved instrument to support investment, growth and jobs in the EU
EU ambassadors endorsed the Council's position on a Commission proposal to bring together under one programme the 14 different financial instruments currently available to support investment in the EU.   View Article
Paolo Savona: The time is ripe for a European safe asset
Italy’s minister for European affairs writes in the FT that Eurozone markets’ dependence on German debt creates destabilising distortions.  View Article
EurActiv: The Franco-German proposal for a ‘eurozone budgetary instrument’, in detail
France and Germany tabled a joint proposal to establish a new “eurozone budgetary instrument” that would support national reforms and investments in the single currency bloc.  View Article
New Europe: Commission identifies macroeconomic imbalances in 10 EU countries
Macroeconomic imbalances have been found in 10 EU nations according to a report published by the European Commission and based on the assessment of progress concerning structural reforms, the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances, and the results of in-depth reviews.  View Article
Bloomberg: ECB urged swift analysis, no hasty decision on new lending
European Central Bank officials are setting up their meeting in two weeks as a key session to decide if the euro-area slowdown is bad enough to warrant action.  View Article
Bloomberg: Lane says ECB policy strategy can cope with current slowdown
One of the most influential European Central Bank policy makers-to be is confident that current stimulus will be enough the guide the euro area through what he considers “limited” downward revisions to the outlook.  View Article
ECB: Financial statements of the ECB for 2018
The European Central Bank’s audited financial statements for 2018 show that the profit for the year increased by €301 million, to €1,575 million, mainly as a result of higher net interest income earned on the US dollar portfolio and on the asset purchase programme (APP) portfolio.   View Article
February 2019: Economic Sentiment broadly stable in the euro area, down in the EU
In February 2019, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly stable in the euro area (-0.2 points to 106.1), while it decreased in the EU (by 0.9 points to 105.3)  View Article
Annual inflation down to 1.4% in the euro area
The euro area annual inflation rate was 1.4% in January 2019, down from 1.5% in December. A year earlier, the rate was 1.3%. European Union annual inflation was 1.5% in January 2019, down from 1.6% in December. A year earlier, the rate was 1.6%  View Article

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