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25 February 2021

Standard Weekly Newsletter


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My highlights of the week: SRB Chair Koenig discussed the idea of a European Bank Charter for the EU’s largest banks and (eventually) a harmonised EU liquidation regime for banks – following the example of the United States. The Covid impact on market structures continues – even bond trading is going digital. The Wirecard impact also continues: CFA called for improved corporate governance. In a sign of the times, the Central Banks of China and the UAE joined the “Multiple CBDC Bridge”.

 Brexit also generated much news: BoE Governor Bailey attacked the EU’s stance on equivalence (but I think this is a hopeless case – see with likes: dislikes running at 500:10!!); the FT reported that British insurers are urging a “watering down” of Solvency II; Bovill Consultancy used a Freedom of Information request to find that nearly 1500 EU financial firms are planning a new UK office. Brexit has fractured British politics: in 4Q 2020 49% said we were wrong to Leave v 39% right, and electors now identify themselves as Leave or Remain rather than Tory/Labour.

 Graham Bishop

(This e-mail provides the headers of a selection of the articles published this week. If you would like to upgrade to our Gold service and  access all articles - with live links to the underlying news - please click on the button) 

Articles from 19-25 February 2021

General Financial Policy



 EURACTIV: From financial solidarity to a social and federal union : The creation of a federal bond will pave the way for a treasury and common EU taxation... Such an ad-hoc financial union is mostly an intergovernmental affair and a stronger role of the European Parliament is necessary to reach a stronger and more social political community

 Banking Union

SRB: Speech to European Parliament's Kangaroo Working Group on Financial Services by SRB Chair Elke König : First challenge will be the exit strategy; not just the exit from lockdowns and the exit from governmental support for the economy... we need to avoid potential cliff effects. Second challenge will be the rise in NPLs. Banks must put in place the measures to identify and deal with NPLs... 

SSM: What does the ECB expect from banks’ leaders? : Speech by Edouard Fernandez-Bollo, Member of the Supervisory Board of the ECB, Florence School of Banking and Finance online seminar “Fit and Proper Assessment: Better Boards for Better Banks?”

Vox: How much capital should banks hold? : Well-capitalised banks make the financial system more resilient to episodes such as the COVID-19 crisis. This column assesses how much capital would be optimal for banks to hold, taking into consideration the risk of banking crises driven by borrower defaults.  


Capital Markets Union

 FT: Bond trading finally dragged into the digital age : Shift of fixed-income markets from analogue to electronic speeds up

 ESMA: MiFID II research unbundling: assessing the impact on SMEs : MiFID II Research Unbundling – impact on EU equity markets. This article analyses the impact of the MiFID II research unbundling provisions on EU sell-side

CRE: EIOPA’s capital loading plans could risk insurability of nat cat risk, warns Fitch : A final report from Eiopa on its proposal is expected in the next few months. Fitch says EU regulators are aware and concerned about climate change risk facing the insurance industry and therefore capital charges for nat cat exposures are almost certain to rise.

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)

ICMA note following the publication of the ESAs' final recommendations for the RTS of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) : ICMA has issued a note following the publication of the ESAs' final recommendations for the RTS of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR). The note explains the decision making process and points out implementation challenges which members and policy makers may want to consider. 
CFA Institute calls on European policymakers, companies and investors to improve corporate governance in the European Union : The report finds that governance mechanisms in Europe still do not offer sufficient corporate accountability and protection of shareholder rights, and it makes recommendations for improvements. It also analyses the effects of incorporating ESG practices in European companies’ business models.

Fin Tech Regulation

MEPs scrutinise Digital Services Act and Digital Markets Act : Internal Market and Economic Affairs Committees discussed the legislative proposals to better protect consumers and create fairer platform economy with Executive Vice-President Vestager.
Insurance Europe: EC proposal for financial sector cyber security rules too prescriptive, and should instead be principle- and risk-based : Insurance Europe has today published its position on the European Commission’s proposal for a Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA).
BIS: Central banks of China and United Arab Emirates join digital currency project for cross-border payments : The Digital Currency Institute of the People's Bank of China and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates join the Multiple CBDC (m-CBDC) Bridge, a cross-border payments project. 


Bloomberg: BOE’s Bailey Slams EU Stance on Swaps Clearing After Brexit : Andrew Bailey speaks during a hearing with U.K. lawmakers; Bank of England governor says EU moving to ‘location policy’
UK Finance: Promoting global trade in financial services is central to UK economic recovery : In a report published today, UK Finance has provided a detailed analysis of international trade in financial services, the tools that can be used to promote it and the benefits it brings for businesses and consumers.
Bovill: London to remain financial services centre of Europe : Almost 1,500 EU-based financial services firms have applied for permission to operate in the UK, with around 1,000 of these planning to establish their first UK office, according to a Freedom of Information request (FOI) by financial regulatory consultancy Bovill.  
FT: Insurers urge UK to reduce capital buffer in break from EU rules : Watering down Solvency II would help to cover the costs of preparing for Brexit, trade body says
UKandEU: Public opinion - the legacy of Brexit : So, that’s it. Brexit’s been done. The ‘will of the people’ as expressed in the 2016 referendum has been fulfilled. Britain can now put four years of intense and passionate debate behind it and focus on the opportunities thus created...But is that what we should necessarily expect? 

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© Copyright 2021 Graham Bishop

© Graham Bishop

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