Regulation Correspondent, Europe
Huw's Feed
Oct 1, 2014

Bank of England eases curb on risky mortgages as house market cools

LONDON, Oct 1 (Reuters) – The Bank of England has eased a
curb on risky mortgages that are large relative to a borrower’s
income, amid signs that Britain’s housing market has begun to
cool.

In June, the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee
recommended that “as soon as practicable” no more than 15
percent of mortgages should be at, or greater than, 4.5 times a
borrower’s income.

Sep 30, 2014

Global regulators agree reforms of currency benchmarks

LONDON (Reuters) – The one minute window for setting a widely used currency market benchmark should be extended to 5 minutes to make it harder to manipulate prices, the Group of Twenty’s (G20) regulatory task force said on Tuesday.

Several banks are being investigated by authorities in Britain, the United States and elsewhere for allegedly manipulating the $5 trillion a day currency market, prompting regulators to map out reforms of market operations.

Sep 30, 2014

RBS frees up $1.3 billion of provisions as economy improves

LONDON (Reuters) – State-backed Royal Bank of Scotland will release 800 million pounds ($1.3 billion) from provisions it had set aside to cover losses on bad loans after an improvement in economic conditions, especially in Ireland.

RBS said on Tuesday it also expected losses from bad loans to be “significantly” lower than its previous guidance of 1 billion pounds this year, helped by improving asset prices.

Sep 29, 2014

EU’s Barnier tells UK it has key role in markets union

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – The European Union is not trying
to weaken the City of London, which will be in pole position to
shape a new EU capital markets union, the bloc’s outgoing
financial services chief said on Monday.

Michel Barnier steps down at the end of October after a
frantic five-year stint during which more than 40 new financial
laws were approved, some of which Britain is challenging in the
EU’s top court.

Sep 29, 2014

New EU financial services chief flexible on rules

LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) – New European Union rules making
banks and markets safer could be swiftly tweaked to get right
balance between effective regulation and encouraging funding to
the economy, the bloc’s new financial services chief said.

Jonathan Hill, a Briton who is due to start in November,
said his priority after the huge regulatory change following the
2007-09 financial crisis will be to implement, enforce and
evaluate the new rules.

Sep 25, 2014

Global regulator flags change in how banks calculate capital

LONDON (Reuters) – Banks face curbs on their ability to downplay how much capital they should hold, as regulators bid to restore investor confidence in the sector, a top global banking watchdog has said.

Stefan Ingves, chairman of the Basel Committee of supervisors from nearly 30 countries, said there will be “floors” on bank capital, one of the most definitive statements so far on major changes to come.

Sep 25, 2014

BoE’s Carney says top insurance officials face tougher scrutiny

LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Britain will vet top insurance
officials and actuaries, bringing the sector in line with banks
to make misconduct by individuals easier to punish, Bank of
England Governor Mark Carney said on Thursday.

Insurance officials and actuaries who come under the BoE’s
net will have to prove their suitability to regulators before
they can start the job.

Sep 25, 2014

UK to widen law against benchmark rigging, aims for year-end

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain plans to extend laws criminalizing the rigging of Libor interest rates to seven other financial benchmarks by the end of this year, the finance ministry said on Thursday.

The Treasury launched a consultation on widening the legislation to a range of benchmarks including the WM/Reuters 4pm London fix – the dominant global benchmark in the $5.3 trillion-a-day currency market – and gold, oil and silver.

Sep 24, 2014

New UK regulatory team to track funds to protect investors

LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator
said it was changing how it supervises the investment sector as
part of a wider push to stop customers being ripped off when
they save for their old age.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it would assess
funds from the moment they are authorised to be sold in Britain
through to their eventual closure, its director of wholesale
banking and investment management, William Amos, told a
conference in London.

Sep 23, 2014

EU financial watchdogs warn of funding squeeze

LONDON, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Three European Union financial
watchdogs warned that a funding freeze will hamper their efforts
to help Europe avoid another financial crisis.

The 2007-2009 crisis led to new laws that force banks to
hold more capital so that taxpayers do not have to rescue them
again. Insurers also face tougher capital requirements, while
the EU has also agreed to set up new protections for investors.

    • About Huw

      "Huw is based in London and covers European regulatory issues and global rulemaking bodies such as the G20, Financial Stability Board, IOSCO, IASB and the Basel Committee. He has covered EU regulation in Brussels, the emergence pan-European stock markets, and has also been a Wall Street reporter in New York."
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