Financial Regulatory Forum

Bundesbank must remain independent, Zeitler says

    BERLIN, April 11 (Reuters) – The Bundesbank will not agree to any new national financial supervision structure that might impinge upon its independence, a board member of the German central bank said in a newspaper interview published on Sunday. (more…)

BREAKINGVIEWS – UK bank tax could raise up to 3.6 billion sterling a year

– The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own –

By George Hay and Hugo Dixon

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters Breakingviews) – A UK bank tax of the sort being advocated by both main political parties could raise up to 3.6 billion pounds a year. The exact sum would depend on which parts of the balance sheet are taxed. But one thing is clear: as a proportion of earnings, RBS and Lloyds would be harder hit than Barclays, HSBC and Standard Chartered.

The most basic way of levying the tax would be to follow what President Barack Obama has proposed for the United States. He wants to levy a 0.15 percent annual charge on a bank’s total assets — minus its deposits and Tier 1 capital. Applying that to the five big UK banks would raise 3.6 billion pounds annually, according to Reuters Breakingviews analysis.

Germany wants reports of bank-stock short positions

FRANKFURT, March 4 (Reuters) – German financial watchdog Bafin will introduce new rules this month requiring reporting of short sale positions in major German financial stocks.

The new rules, which come into effect on March 25, will let Bafin intervene effectively if it determines that short positions may threaten financial stability, the watchdog said in a statement.

Short-sellers are investors who borrow shares and sell them on in the hope of buying them back at a lower price to make a profit.

BREAKINGVIEWS-Paris, Berlin might find Greek bailout profitable

– The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

By Pierre Briancon

PARIS, March 1 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Forget for a moment the headline-grabbing numbers and the political and financial drama, which supposedly includes a European Union Greek bailout worth tens of billion of euros. It now appears that the French and German governments are working on a scheme that would end up costing much less, and may be profitable, if coupled as planned with a tough Greek deficit reduction.

It goes like this. France and Germany first make sure that their own banks keep taking on Greek bonds. This will help Athens raise the 45 billion-odd euros ($61 billion) it still needs this year, about half in April and May. To nudge their private-sector banks in that direction, the two governments won’t rely only on the traditional, friendly but firm political pressure. They will also dangle financial guarantees from state-owned financial powerhouses, Germany’s KfW  and France’s Caisse des Depots (CDC).

Germany prepares tougher short-selling rules-paper

   By Matthias Sobolewski
   BERLIN, Feb 23 (Reuters) – German financial watchdog Bafin is preparing tougher rules on the short-selling of shares in big financial sector companies, a coalition document showed on Tuesday. (more…)

Banks should help fund stability measures -Buba

    VIENNA, Feb 22 (Reuters) – Banks should contribute toward financial stability measures, but a blanket levy on total assets could worsen future crises, the vice president of Germany’s Bundesbank was quoted as saying on Monday. (more…)

Euro zone holds intensive talks on Greek rescue

By Matthias Sobolewski and Renee Maltezou

BERLIN/ATHENS, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Euro zone countries held intensive talks on Wednesday on a possible rescue for Greece, whose debt crisis has shaken the entire currency union, as civil servants staged the first big strike against Athens’ austerity plans.

Financial markets gave Greece some respite as investors hoped that other European governments would help Athens to head off a possible default on its debt repayments.

Finance ministers of the 16 countries that share the common European currency scheduled a video conference for Wednesday to discuss the issue, a European Commission spokesman said.

European governments agree to help Greece – source

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By Matthias Sobolewski

BERLIN, Feb 9 (Reuters) – European governments have agreed in principle to help heavily indebted Greece, a senior German coalition source said on Tuesday, in what would be the first rescue of a euro zone member in the currency’s 11-year history.

“The decision on help for Greece has been taken in principle within the euro zone,” said a source in the German coalition government who has knowledge of the negotiations.

Various options were under consideration and no final decision had been taken but the most likely possibility was to offer “bilateral help,” the source said.

German state ready to buy stolen bank data-source

BERLIN, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Germany’s most populous state has made final checks on stolen bank data belonging to potential tax cheats and is ready to buy the information, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

“We have finished the examination,” said a source from the financial authorities of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. “The groundwork has thus been laid to acquire the data.”

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble sent shivers through the large Swiss private banking industry this week when he said Berlin was prepared to pay for stolen data belonging to potential tax dodgers at a Swiss bank.

Germany’s Merkel says G20 needs to act on big banks’ influence

Merkel warning    BERLIN, Jan 20 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 economic powers need to develop a set of rules to prevent banks becoming so big that they can hold governments to ransom, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday. (more…)

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