Regulation Correspondent, Europe
Huw's Feed
Mar 28, 2014

UK regulator to probe fairness of “zombie” savings pots

LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog is
to investigate whether people locked into some 30 million
pension and other types of savings plans sold by insurance firms
in the 30 years after 1970 are treated fairly compared with new
clients, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday.

These savings policies are sometimes described as “zombie
funds”, which are closed to new investors and are typically
owned by elderly people who might have forgotten about them.

Mar 27, 2014

Did Osborne apply pressure in Lloyds branches sale, MPs ask

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s parliamentary treasury committee has asked Chancellor George Osborne whether he or colleagues put undue pressure on Co-operative Group or Lloyds Banking Group over the sale of more than 600 Lloyds branches.

Paul Flowers, the former chairman of Co-op Bank, which nearly collapsed under massive debts last year, said this week that Osborne had pressured it to buy the branches from partially state-owned Lloyds, while Peter Levene, chair of rival bidder NBNK, has repeatedly alleged that political interference resulted in the Co-op Bank being named as the preferred bidder.

Mar 27, 2014

Did Osborne apply pressure in Lloyds branches sale, UK lawmakers ask

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s parliamentary treasury committee has asked finance minister George Osborne whether he or colleagues put undue pressure on Co-operative Group (42TE.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) or Lloyds (LLOY.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Banking Group over the sale of more than 600 Lloyds branches.

Paul Flowers, the former chairman of Co-op Bank, which nearly collapsed under massive debts last year, said this week that Osborne had pressured it to buy the branches from partially state-owned Lloyds, while Peter Levene, chair of rival bidder NBNK, has repeatedly alleged that political interference resulted in the Co-op Bank being named as the preferred bidder.

Mar 27, 2014

Europe to loosen rules for banks repackaging debt

LONDON/ BRUSSELS, March 26 (Reuters) – The European Union
will loosen rules on selling securitised debt, the bloc’s
regulatory chief said on Thursday, giving a second chance to
products that triggered the worst financial crisis in a
generation.

The capital rules that make it expensive for banks and
insurers to create and buy such debt will be eased, said Michel
Barnier, the European Commissioner in charge of regulation,
dismissing any threat that such concessions would risk another
“subprime disaster”.

Mar 27, 2014

EU sets out plans to free finance for investment

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union will look for ways other than the region’s banks to finance infrastructure projects and invest in start-up companies, according to plans the EU published on Thursday.

The EU plans call for expanding stock and bond markets and tapping pension pots to help provide the trillion euros needed for new telecom, transport and energy networks by 2020.

Mar 27, 2014

Bank of England readies tools to rein in risky mortgage lending

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England urged banks on Thursday to consider the risk of future spikes in interest rates when they approve mortgages, and prepared tools to rein back potentially dangerous lending.

British house prices have risen by around 10 percent over the past year, and the central bank said mortgages were higher as a share of home-buyers’ income than at any point since 2005, although other indicators remained weaker than average.

Mar 24, 2014

EU’s plans for growth to bring shadow banking in from the cold

LONDON, March 24 (Reuters) – European Commission proposals
due to be published on Thursday on how to fund long-term
investments to boost Europe’s economies brings the start of a
rehabilitation for the image of “shadow banking”, the largely
unregulated market-based provision of credit which lay at the
heart of the financial crisis.

The EC plans envisage engineering a fundamental shift in how
the continent raises money for investment in infrastructure like
roads and technology while at the same time moving away from an
over-reliance on banks for fuelling growth in the economy.

Mar 21, 2014

Exclusive – EU executive plans to promote crowdfunding sector

LONDON (Reuters) – A European Union “quality label” and possible state aid for crowdfunding would help the 1 billion euro (£836 million) sector grow to fund economic growth, the bloc’s executive body said in a document seen by Reuters.

Crowdfunding allows individuals and small businesses to raise money from pools of investors who can put money into peer-to-peer lending schemes or securities such as unlisted shares.

Mar 21, 2014

EU executive plans to promote crowdfunding sector

LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – A European Union “quality
label” and possible state aid for crowdfunding would help the 1
billion euro ($1.4 billion) sector grow to fund economic growth,
the bloc’s executive body said in a document seen by Reuters.

Crowdfunding allows individuals and small businesses to
raise money from pools of investors who can put money into
peer-to-peer lending schemes or securities such as unlisted
shares.

Mar 20, 2014

UK watchdog fines and bans trader in first gilt-rigging case

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog has fined former Credit Suisse bond trader Mark Stevenson 662,700 pounds ($1.1 million) in its first enforcement action for manipulating the 7.2 trillion pound UK government bond market.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said it had also banned Stevenson from the industry for ramping up the price of a bond in the hope of creaming off a bigger profit during a Bank of England bond-buying operation on October 10.

    • 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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