Financial Regulatory Forum

ANALYSIS – U.S. antitrust chief delivers on aggressive ambitions

XM Satellite Radio in Washington    By Diane Bartz
   WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – Telecommunications companies are being probed for potential antitrust violations. Drug company deals to delay generic entry are declared illegal. Talent-poaching among high tech firms is being investigated.  And there’s more.


Top examiner to leave U.S. securities regulator


The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission   WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s top inspector and examiner, Lori Richards, plans to leave the agency Aug. 7, the SEC said on Wednesday. Richards, director of the compliance inspections and examinations unit since it was created in 1995, leaves after a year in which her division and the SEC enforcement unit were accused of failing to spot Bernard Madoff’s $65 billion investment fraud. (more…)

Tax treaty with U.S. may hinge on UBS deal – Swiss minister

   By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Steven C. Johnson
   NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) – The Swiss Parliament may not approve a double taxation treaty between Switzerland and the United States if the legal action against Swiss bank UBS is not resolved, Swiss minister of economic affairs Doris Leuthard said on Wednesday. (more…)

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…)

Iceland eyes deals with creditors of failed banks

A branch of Iceland's Glitnir Bank    By Omar Valdimarsson
   REYKJAVIK, July 8 (Reuters) – Iceland’s government hopes to secure a deal next week with creditors of its failed banks which would allow it to capitalise its new banks and start to compensate foreign lenders for their massive losses.  A deal would likely come ahead of a July 17 deadline to finalise the capitalisation of the so-called “new banks” which were created following the country’s financial meltdown, Indridi Thorlaksson, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, told Reuters on Wednesday. (more…)

Latvia seeks debt write-downs in home-loan restructure plan

   By Patrick Lannin and Sven Nordenstam
   RIGA/STOCKHOLM, July 8 (Reuters) – Latvia wants banks to write off 10 percent of the debt of people who enter a planned scheme to restructure problem loans, the prime minister said on Wednesday, but banks said volumes concerned would be small. (more…)

G8: world economy may need more help, leaders mute currency debate

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L), U.S. President Barack Obama   By Darren Ennis and Krittivas Mukherjee
   L’AQUILA, Italy, July 8 (Reuters) – G8 leaders believe the world economy still faces “significant risks” and may need further help, according to summit draft documents that also reflect failure to agree climate change goals for 2050. (more…)

Britain sets out plans to tighten bank regulation

Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling    By Huw Jones
   LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – Britain will tighten up how it supervises banks, scrutinise bonuses paid to their employees and punish misconduct harder as it tries to prevent a re-run of the credit crunch, the government said on Wednesday.


EU watchdogs unveil shortselling disclosure plans

    By Huw Jones
   LONDON, July 8 (Reuters) – European Union regulators unveiled draft plans on Wednesday to force short sellers of stocks to publicly disclose significant positions in a bid to crack down on those who abuse the market.

Luxembourg says removed from tax haven “grey list”

Luxembourg Treasury Minister Luc Frieden     LUXEMBOURG, July 8 (Reuters) – Luxembourg has been removed from a “grey list” of countries seen by the OECD as lacking financial transparency, Budget Minister Luc Frieden said on Wednesday.