Financial Regulatory Forum

Bank of England’s King says UK, US closer than EU on regulation

It's closer across the Atlantic

It's closer across the Atlantic

 (Updates with more quotes, details from report)

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Britain and the United States are more convinced of the need to force banks to hold more capital than some big European nations, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King told the Council for Financial Stability last month.

The minutes of the meeting between the BoE, the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority on Jan. 14, published on Friday, showed King felt the task of getting nations to agree to stricter rules for banks “should not be underestimated”.

The G20 group of developed and emerging nations has been looking at ways to strengthen regulation after the credit crisis but there have been concerns that a show of unity at the height of the crisis may fall apart as the global economy recovers.

FSA Chairman Adair Turner told the meeting that, while Britain had pushed hard to implement internationally-agreed standards for remuneration in the financial sector, others were dragging their feet.

The minutes showed the FSA had forced some banks to change their pay plans and said “potential issues could arise if other countries failed to follow the UK’s implementation of the Financial Stability Board code in time for the 2010/11 remuneration round”.

from Global News Journal:

Brussels’ MEPs ready to duke it out with bankers

Every new year brings resolutions, and the European Parliament is no exception.

Often derided as a multi-lingual talking shop, the institution is feeling newly invigorated by some fresh faces and by the European Union's Lisbon reform treaty, which came into force late last year and gives the 736-member parliament more say in drafting laws and acting as a check on legislation.

Almost immediately, parliamentarians were letting their voice be heard, forcing Bulgaria to withdraw its nominee for the European Commission last month because she wasn't seen to be up to the job. They also look ready to block an agreement between the EU and the United States on sharing data on bank transfers, and are really beginning to show their teeth when it comes to financial sector reform.

It's one aspect of the latter move -- reported exclusively by Reuters on Monday -- which is set to cast MEPs in the role of banker-bashers-in-chief and could put them on a collision course with national governments.

Europe welcomes Obama bank plan, won’t imitate it

By Keith Weir and Crispian Balmer

LONDON/PARIS, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Major European economies offered support on Friday for U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to limit banks’ size and trading activities but indicated they had no plans to follow suit.

Obama’s dramatic proposals could rewrite the world financial order but experts said they were light on detail and could cloud the global approach fostered by the Group of 20 nations.

The European Union will not imitate Obama’s plan, because it aims to reduce risk in the sector through other means, an EU source said on Friday.

Sweden proposes EU bank tax, gets cool response

By John O’Donnell

BRUSSELS, Jan 19 (Reuters) – Sweden’s finance minister called on European counterparts to follow U.S. President Barack Obama’s lead with a bank tax to recoup the cost of propping up the industry but the idea received a guarded response.

Obama proposed last week that Wall Street pay up to $117 billion via a special levy to reimburse taxpayers for the financial bailout, saying “fat cat” bankers were making massive profits and “obscene” bonuses.

“We cannot accept a situation where the bankers are running away from the bill,” Sweden’s Anders Borg said on Tuesday at a meeting of European Union finance ministers, outlining his ideas for a bank tax or levy based on that in the U.S. and Sweden.

France’s Barnier expected to get EU financial services post -envoys

Michael Barnier (2nd R), then foreign minister of France, sits between U.N. Deputy Secretary General Louise Frechette (R) and French Ambassador to the United Nations Jean Marc de la Sabliere (2nd L) at a luncheon for the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council 59th United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2004. (File photo) REUTERS/Henny Ray Abrams  By Julien Toyer and John O’Donnell
BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – A former French foreign minister is expected to take charge of financial services in the European Union, diplomats said, a move that would unsettle bankers worried he may take a hard line with the industry.
(more…)

New EU finance watchdogs seen muzzled on companies

By Jonathan Gould
FRANKFURT, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Three new pan European Union financial watchdogs being set up next year are expected to have limited powers when it comes to individual markets and companies, officials said.

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EU, Brazil up pressure on U.S. on Doha deadline

World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy speaks during a business meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in New Delhi September 4, 2009. Key trade ministers met on Thursday to work out how to turn political leaders' pledges to complete the Doha round trade talks by 2010 into reality. REUTERS/B Mathur (INDIA BUSINESS) By Darren Ennis
BRUSSELS, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The European Union and Brazil will increase pressure on the United States on Tuesday to set out its demands to conclude the “Doha” round of world trade talks in 2010, a draft document showed.

(more…)

Some hedge funds eager for Irish “No” on EU treaty – Finance Minister Lenihan

Ireland's Finance Minister Brian Lenihan talks to France's Economy Minister Christine Lagarde (R) at the start of a Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels, March 9, 2009.  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir   (BELGIUM BUSINESS POLITICS) DUBLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Hedge funds which bet unsuccessfully that Ireland would default on its sovereign debt want the country to reject the EU’s reform treaty this week to recoup some of their losses, Finance Minister Brian Lenihan said on Monday.

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Merkel signals caution towards change with new German coalition

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor and leader of the conservative Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) and Guido Westerwelle, leader of the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) meet at the Chancellery in Berlin September 28, 2009. Merkel's conservatives vowed on Monday to seal a coalition deal, including tax cuts, with the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP) within a month after winning Germany's election (Bundestagswahl).    REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (GERMANY) By Madeline Chambers
BERLIN, Sept 28 (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled on Monday she would resist pressure for radical reforms from her likely new coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democrats (FDP), and stick to a path of gradual change.

(more…)

EU hedge fund law to raise compliance costs-survey

open-europe-ogo LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) – A controversial EU draft law on hedge funds and private equity could initially cost the two sectors between 1.3 billion euros ($1.9 billion) and 1.9 billion euros, while investor returns could also suffer, a survey says.
(more…)

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