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16 September 2021

This week in "Brussels"

Welcome to our Gold Friends weekly e-mail.

Highlights of the week: The formal highlight should have been the State of the Union message (SOTEU – to its fans) but there was little new of substance for financial markets. However, Eurofi in Ljubljana produced some interesting speeches on banking union and the familiar refrain to get it completed. Interestingly, Keynes’ biographer – Lord Skidelsky – cited Keynes extensively in his analysis that QE is storing up many problems that could ultimately rebound on the health of the banking system. More immediately, both EBF and the German banks expressed their opposition to an NPL register as a means of stimulating secondary trading. The flood of comments to influence COP26 is well underway – 600 investors (representing €46 trillion/40% of investment assets) set out their five priorities. The prudential regulation of banks’ holding of cryptoassets also came under scrutiny. We resumed "Brussels4Breakfast" with the 175th monthly edition - see

Graham Bishop



Articles from 10-16 September 2021

General Financial Policy

2021 State of the Union Address by President von der Leyen : Relevant topics included: digital Europe, Next Generation funding, corporate taxation and the Green Deal View Article

State of the Union: Commission proposes a Path to the Digital Decade to deliver the EU's digital transformation by 2030 : Today, the Commission proposed a Path to the Digital Decade, a concrete plan to achieve the digital transformation of our society and economy by 2030. T View Article
EPC: The von der Leyen Commission: Time to reset, regroup and get things done : How does the Commission ensure a continued capacity for fresh thinking and renewal to direct the EU’s political agenda? Can the EU deal with the political fall-out from uncertainty, shocks and change? Is the Commission’s executive structure tailored to deliver the major tasks it faces? View Article
Eurogroup meeting: Donohoe comments, Corporate solvency and ECB digital currency : Eurogroup on Covid and economic recovery; current economic prospects; corporate solvency; and the ECB's decision to launch the investigation phase of its digital currency View Article
EURACTIV: Commission hints at quick fix of fiscal rules in 2022 : The European Commission said that it will explore options to improve the Stability and Growth Pact by the end of next year, as member states are preparing for a bruising battle over the reform of the EU’s fiscal rules. View Article
Project Syndicate's Skidelsky: Where Has All the Money Gone? A Keynesian view : Amid all the talk of when and how to end or reverse quantitative easing (QE), one question is almost never discussed: Why have central banks’ massive doses of bond purchases in Europe and the United States since 2009 had so little effect on the general price level?  View Article
CEPS: The Macroeconomics of Debt - Europe’s blind spot : Debt continues to grow around the globe, regularly creating cause for concern. Are today’s economies really nothing but a house of cards? View Article

Banking Union

SSM's Enria: How can we make the most of an incomplete banking union? : The urgent need for progress in banking integration: Today I will focus on the concrete actions we can take to achieve real progress towards a truly integrated prudential jurisdiction within the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and within the current institutional and regulatory environment. View Article
Bank of Spain Hernandez de Cos: Basel III implementation in the European Union : Yet the job of safeguarding global financial stability is far from finished. The outstanding Basel III reforms, which were finalised in 2017, are aimed at addressing significant fault lines in the global banking system. Addressing these fault lines remains as important today as it was pre-pandemic. View Article
SRB: No time to waste in completing the Banking Union : The European Banking Union still awaits completion, with more work urgently needed to move towards a fully integrated system that delivers better crisis management, depositor protection and a stronger banking sector.  View Article
SSM's McCaul: The final leap: implementing the Basel III reforms in Europe : Not surprisingly, I will argue that full and timely implementation in Europe of the last set of Basel III regulatory reforms, without any further delays or changes in substance, is in the interest of all stakeholders. View Article
Targeted consultation of the European Commission: GBIC rejects the introduction of an EU-wide data hub for NPLs : From the GBIC's point of view, there is already a high level of transparency on the secondary markets for non-performing loans (NPLs). The market participants know each other, their standards and particular expertise. View Article
Targeted consultation on improving transparency and efficiency in secondary markets for NPLs: EBF response : We do not see relevant value in establishing a general and mandatory NPL data hub where only sellers are obligated to report. However, data on post-execution recoveries seems the most relevant to share and the EBF stands ready to discuss in detail how to make progress on this area within terms of level-playing field. View Article
EBA publishes revised guidelines on the stress tests of deposit guarantee schemes (DGSs) : The revised Guidelines extend the scope of the DGS stress testing, by requiring more tests in comparison with the past Guidelines and by covering all the legal missions entrusted to the DGSs.  View Article
NVB's Bosma: Countering terrorism financing: what can we expect from banks? : "The current system is neither efficient nor effective, while it also has undesirable effects for customers and society." View Article

Capital Markets Union

EIOPA: Criteria for the independence of supervisory authorities : The independence of supervisory authorities is crucial for the legitimacy and credibility of the supervisory process. View Article
Insurance Europe: Financial sector associations call on EC to provide reasonable implementation timeline for PRIIPs changes : Insurance Europe — alongside several other financial sector associations — raised serious concerns in response to a consultation conducted by the European Commission on planned changes to the Packaged Retail and Insurance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs) framework.  View Article
GFIA: Insurers welcome IAIS draft paper on supervisory colleges, call for clarifications : GFIA has responded to a consultation by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) on its draft revised application paper on supervisory colleges. Overall, the draft provides a helpful overview of the purpose of supervisory colleges and the procedures that can make them effective.  View Article
CRE: EU financial supervisors call for fast action on cyber resilience framework : European supervisors have warned financial services firms and their national regulators that rising cyber risk demands a “swift” EU-wide common framework for digital operational resilience. View Article
Insurance Europe: Insurers raise significant concerns about EIOPA’s pension dashboard proposals : Insurance Europe has published its response to a consultation by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on its draft technical advice to the European Commission on the development of pension dashboards and data collection.  View Article

Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG)

EFAMA: EU needs a usable, investor-centric and globally relevant social taxonomy : “A usable, investor-centric and globally relevant social taxonomy would rebalance the EU´s sustainable finance strategy and grasp the full potential of ESG investing...." View Article
GRI: Towards new EU sustainability reporting standards : GRI welcomes support from Caisse des Dépôts for its contribution to EFRAG’s technical work  View Article
UNEPFI: Global investor statement: Investors urge govts to undertake five priority actions before COP26 : A record number of 587 investors with US$46 trillion in assets under management are urging governments to rapidly implement five priority policy actions that will allow them to invest the trillions needed to respond to the climate crisis.  View Article
IFAC Urges Stakeholders to Prepare Now for Global Sustainability Standards : IFAC believes that jurisdictions must begin examining how global standards that the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) intends to develop, starting with climate, can fit together with sustainability-related reporting requirements set at the jurisdictional level. View Article
IFAC Calls on G20 Leaders to Focus on Sustainability Reporting and Public Sector Integrity : “For society to transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic in a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous position than we entered it, we need a concerted effort from global policymakers and the accountancy profession,” View Article
ECGI: Corporate Climate: A Machine Learning Assessment of Climate Risk Disclosures : In this post, we present machine learning tools aimed both at extracting climate risk disclosures and inferring to what extent issuers’ characteristics affect the likelihood of submission. View Article
Insurance Europe: Insurers support future solutions to expand current climate-related taxonomy, but priority must be its completion : Insurance Europe has responded to a consultation by the European Commission on a draft proposal by its Platform on Sustainable Finance for an extended taxonomy to support economic transition.  View Article
Insurance Europe: Insurers support EC’s work on social taxonomy, but focus must be finalisation of climate-related taxonomy : Insurance Europe has responded to a consultation by the European Commission on a draft report by its Platform on Sustainable Finance on a social taxonomy.  View Article
Proposal for the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive: EBF position : Banks particularly welcome the extended scope of the proposed Directive, which would cover all large undertakings, as well as listed small and medium-sized enterprises. View Article
Draft Report on Taxonomy Extension Options linked to Environmental Objectives: EBF response : The EBF supports the extension of the EU Taxonomy ‘beyond green’ to include significantly harmful activities, therefore creating a ‘permanent significantly harmful’ red category. View Article
Draft Report of the Platform on Sustainable Finance on a Social Taxonomy: EBF response : The Social Taxonomy should remain a voluntary tool for both financial and non-financial undertakings to guide their positive societal impact View Article

Accountancy Europe: EFRAG’s consultation paper – due process procedures for EU sustainability reporting standard-setting : A robust, inclusive and transparent due process underpins standard-setting and helps legitimisestandards.  View Article

Fin Tech Regulation

BCBS consultation on Prudential treatment of cryptoasset exposures: EBF response : The goal should be to ensure a level playing field between the banking sector and market participants who are active in the issuance and trading of cryptoassets, but who are not within the scope of prudential regulation View Article
GBIC comments on the regulatory treatment of cryptoassets : The GBIC has commented on a consultation of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on the regulatory treatment of crypto assets. From the point of view of the DK, a uniform global framework is required for the regulatory handling of crypto assets. View Article
BIS Coeure: Central bank digital currency: the future starts today : The world is not returning to the old normal. Payments are a case in point. The pandemic has accelerated a longer-running move to digital. View Article

Friends' Standard Services

Brussels4Breakfast 175: risks to the City of London, German elections, new AML initiatives... : The main challengers to the City may be NY and Asian centres, but Brussels still matters - and there seems to be little let-up in its policy of non-cooperation with London, particularly over CCPs. View Article


European Parliament paves the way for special fund to mitigate the impact of Brexit : MEPs approved the €5 billion Brexit Adjustment Reserve to help member states deal with the economic, social and territorial impact of the UK’s departure from the EU. View Article

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