Financial Regulatory Forum

U.S. lawmakers question Obama plan for consumer watchdog

U.S. Representative John Dingell (D-MI)    By Diane Bartz
   WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s plan to create a single agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA), to protect consumers dealing with the financial services industry got a skeptical reception in a House hearing on Wednesday.   Democratic lawmakers questioned some elements of the proposal on the grounds that it took jurisdiction away from the Federal Trade Commission, which it oversees, while Republicans expressed concern about the expense of creating a new federal agency and the regulations it might impose. (more…)

Britain to unveil banking reform blueprint

    By Christina Fincher and Huw Jones
   LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – Britain is to set out its blueprint for beefing up financial regulation later on Wednesday in a bid to prevent a re-run of the crisis that forced it to bail out banks with billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money. (more…)

U.S. regulator seeks tighter controls on commodity trading

Chairman of U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Gary Gensler (R) and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro.    By Russell Blinch
   WASHINGTON, July 7 (Reuters) – The top regulator of U.S. futures markets is considering a clampdown on excessive speculation in energy and commodity trading by restricting holdings of big players, part of a broader move by the Obama administration to stabilize the financial markets. (more…)

Pope Benedict seeks “global authority” for economy

Pope Benedict      By Philip Pulella

      VATICAN CITY, July 7 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict called on Tuesday for a “world political authority” to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.  The pope made his call for a re-think of the way the world economy was run in a new encyclical which touched on a number of social issues but whose main connecting thread was how the current crisis has affected both rich and poor nations. (more…)

UK, France seek ways to curb oil price volatility, end tax havens

  By Estelle Shirbon 
  EVIAN, France, July 6 (Reuters) – France and Britain called for action to curtail oil price volatility on Monday as part of a move towards tougher global governance to prevent a return to economic problems that existed before the financial crisis.   Speaking at a Franco-British summit ahead of a meeting of G8 leaders in Italy this week, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also said that tax havens should accelerate their reforms towards greater transparency for the good of the world economy. (more…)

UK market regulator plans bigger fines, link to income

British Financial Services Authority Chairman Adair Turner

 By Myles Neligan  
 LONDON, July 6 (Reuters) -  Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) plans to triple some of the fines it imposes on financial sector wrongdoers as part of a crackdown on offences such as mis-selling and insider dealing. 
 The bigger fines are designed to deter firms and individuals from breaking market rules by making the costs of doing so prohibitively high, the FSA said in a statement.

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France pushing tougher financial regulation

   By Anna Willard
   PARIS, July 2 (Reuters) – France said on Thursday it will not allow draft EU rules to regulate hedge funds to pass unless they are toughened, putting it at odds with Britain which has been trying to dilute them. (more…)

Sweden – don’t demonize hedge funds

    STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A minister for Sweden, which took over the EU presidency on Wednesday, said hedge funds and private equity firms needed regulation but should not be viewed as a primary cause of the global financial crisis.
   Speaking after a visit by the European Commission to Stockholm to mark the Nordic country’s start in the six-month presidency, Financial Markets Minister Mats Odell cautioned against “overzealous” regulation. (more…)

German minister accuses Britain of hindering market reforms

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck

By Matthias Sobolewski
BERLIN (Reuters) – German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck accused Britain on Wednesday of hindering efforts to reform global financial markets because it is too eager to pander to the City of London. While the U.S. administration was now interested in reforming financial markets, London was resisting change, said Steinbrueck, who last year sparked a diplomatic spat with Britain by criticising its economic stimulus plan.

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