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19 November 2009

This week in "Brussels" - with Podcast

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© 2009Jump directly to articles on:-
Financial Services Policy Banking Securities Insurance
Asset Management Corporate Governance Competition: Financial Services  
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Articles from 12 November 2009 - 19 November 2009
Financial Services Policy Back to top 

DG MARKT's Holmquist: “First discussions on ESA’s in Council are well led by the Swedish Presidency”
Speaking to the Special CRIS Committee in the European Parliament, he highlighted that the reforms proposed by the Commission are linked to global reforms and set a clear course for the EU to lead and shape the work of the G-20.  View Article

ECB's Trichet: "Insurance companies, pension funds and the new EU supervisory architecture – a significant step to a common EU approach"
Trichet at CEIOPS Conference: He believes that the three European Supervisory Authorities will represent a significant step to ensure consistent application of EU legislation across Member States.  View Article

UK Treasury Committee raises concern about over-hasty pace of European financial regulation
British lawmakers urged the government to reject European Union proposals to centralize financial services regulation, saying they have been rushed through and are not clear on areas such as fiscal sovereignty.  View Article

UK Government introduces Financial Services Bill – it includes the creation of the Council for Financial Stability
The bill delivers significant reforms that will provide greater rights and information for consumers, in addition to stronger financial regulation to make banks safer and more robust in the future.   View Article

Banking Back to top 

Bankers afraid of over-regulation, and debate what the best way to move forward is
While the European Union is putting forward the new financial supervisory architecture, bankers are worried, among other things, that there will not be a global coordinated measure and therefore they will be badly affected.  View Article

CEBS Secretary General Vossen: "Towards a New Architecture for European Banking Supervision"
At the 2009 Euro Finance week, in Frankfurt, he stressed that the common EU rule book and the increased oversight of large financial institutions are very important and concrete next steps in building a new architecture for EU Banking Supervision.   View Article

Securities Back to top 

FOA: European Commission's CCP proposals could cause 'undue regulatory complexity'
"The proposed regulatory treatment of clearing houses shows how Europe's regulatory architecture is moving even before it is in place," said Anthony Belchambers Chief Executive of the Futures and Options Association.   View Article

EU Regulation on Credit Rating Agencies published in the EU's Official Journal
The new regulation provides, among other things, that Credit Rating Agencies may not provide advisory services and that they will not be allowed to rate financial instruments if they do not have sufficient quality information to base their ratings on.  View Article

CESR published its half-yearly Report for 2009 – work streams focused on responding to the financial crisis
The report provides an update on CESR’s activities to the Commission, Parliament and the European Securities Committee. It is focused on the implementation of the European Regulation for CRA’s and for the new EU regulatory architecture.  View Article

Insurance Back to top 

Myners recognizes how vital Solvency II is for an effective UK insurance sector
He said that the regulation of insurance companies should not automatically follow the blueprint of that for banks. He also highlighted that Solvency II has achieved good results to date; but there is still some way to go.   View Article

Asset Management Back to top 

McCreevy speech at  PWC Forum: “AIFMD is needed”
He defended the AIFMD and stressed that the directive seeks to establish targeted investor protections. McCreevy also recalled that it is too late to question the whole AIFM Directive and it will be enacted as it is in line with the G20 mandate.  View Article

AIMA, as the global hedge fund trade body, believes changes are being carried out in the right direction
AIMA concerns on AIFMD relate to the parts which the directive deviated from the G20 path, such as those which creates protectionist outcomes or established excessively prescriptive and unnecessary regulations adding nothing to investors’ protection.  View Article

Second draft Swedish Presidency compromise text on AIFM – welcomed by investors
This text comes after months of speculation about the Council work in AIFMD. The polemic “private placement” rules remain in place in the new draft so non-EU funds can be sold to professional investors subject to the rules of individual EU states.   View Article

Corporate Governance Back to top 

Reliable investing information more important than ever to “Man-in-the-Street”: IFAC executives
Common international public sector accounting standards are critical to enhancing the quality of government financial reporting so IFAC recommended to the September G-20 summit that the Leaders should back global adoption of public sector standards.  View Article

Commission consults on the International Financial Reporting Standard for SMEs
The aim of this consultation is to gain an understanding of EU stakeholders' views on the IFRS for SMEs issued by the IASB. The Commission is especially interested on comments from the users of accounts, such as business, banks and investors.  View Article

IASB issued a new IFRS 9 on Financial Instruments
"The IASB has made significant change since initial proposals on IFRS 9,” said Sir David Tweedie. Issuing the proposal, the IASB completes its first phase of reforms. The second phase is ready for public comment, while the third is being developed.   View Article

IFRS 9 endorsement advice postponed
EFRAG decided that more time should be taken to consider the output from the IASB project to improve accounting for financial instruments. Therefore, at this stage, EFRAG will not finalise its endorsement advice on IFRS 9.  View Article


Competition: Financial Services Back to top 

Commission confirms sending of Statement of Objections (SO) to Standard & Poor's
The Commission’s preliminary view is that S&P is abusing its dominant position by requiring to pay licensing fees for the use of International Securities Identification Numbers (ISINs) in their own databases.  View Article

UK Treasury welcomes approval of Lloyds restructure
The divestments Lloyds will make following Commission’s approval will lead to an important shake-up of the UK retail banking market. It will create a benefit for consumers as competition rules will be re-established.  View Article

Commission decisions on KBC, ING and Lloyds – frequently asked questions – better understanding of the restructuring plans
The questions include Commission's position as regards the bancassurance model, as the Commission has approved divestment of the insurance unit and back to basics model. The Commission is not against this model and asses on a case by case basis.  View Article

Kroes’s speech: KBC, ING and Lloyds – one quarter of the job is done, but there are 28 cases to go
Each of these banks will be required to contribute substantially to the financing of their restructuring. The plans ensure that none of these banks will enjoy an unfair competitive advantage as a result of public support they have received.  View Article

Commission approves asset relief, divestment and restructuring package for KBC
KBC will retain its integrated banking and insurance model. However, it will divest a significant number of businesses, including in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly those that are not fully in line with its core business model.  View Article

Dutch Bank ING restructuring plan approved by the Commission - divestments, temporary ban on capital reductions or acquisitions
The Netherlands committed to temporarily ban ING from acquiring other firms and from exercising price leadership. Furthermore, ING will need formal Commission approval for repaying hybrid and subordinated debt capital instruments.  View Article

Commission approves restructuring plan of Lloyds Banking Group including a divestment package of Lloyds’ UK retail banking
The Commission found that the plan ensures a fair burden sharing of past losses and that the bank and its capital providers make a significant contribution to the financing of the restructuring costs. This is important to limit moral hazard.  View Article

Kroes in New Delhi: Why we need competitive markets?
If DG COMP had not applied the competition rules to banks in Europe, we would have seen consumer harm as banks took advantage of the 'free ride’. The special situation of banks cannot alter the competition regime.  View Article

German bank Hypo real Estate under Commission in-depth investigation
The award of significant state subsidies requires in-depth restructuring, to address the problems that prompted the need for state rescue. Kroes stated that she is confident they can find a solution in that difficult case.  View Article




© Graham Bishop

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