Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Apr 22, 2015

EU markets watchdog to look deeper into digital currency investments

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union’s markets watchdog is examining trading investments based on digital currency systems like bitcoin, saying it is unclear whether ownership is legally enforceable.

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) said the databases or “block chains” which record every transaction ever conducted in such cryptocurrencies were already being used to issue and trade some securities, bypassing regulated stock exchanges and central securities depositories.

Apr 22, 2015

UK watchdog fines BoA’s Merrill Lynch $20 million for reporting failures

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s markets regulator has fined Bank of America Merrill Lynch a record 13.2 million pounds ($20 million) for failing to report transactions properly over seven years.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Wednesday that Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch International arm incorrectly reported 35 million transactions and failed to report another 121,387 transactions between November 2007 and November 2014.

Apr 21, 2015

EU mounts fresh bid to end U.S. re-insurance collateral rule

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) – The European Union will mount a
fresh bid to persuade the United States to free up the billions
of euros in collateral it requires foreign re-insurers to set
aside against policies.

EU states agreed on Tuesday to give the bloc’s executive
European Commission a mandate to negotiate a regulatory pact
with the United States.

Apr 21, 2015

Basel watchdog curbs bank capital discretion for supervisors

LONDON (Reuters) – Global regulators have jettisoned a string of national “waivers” from bank capital rules to help restore credibility in benchmark ratios published by lenders.

Regulators have found wide variations in the amount of capital banks hold against a similar set of loans, denting investor confidence in published capital ratios and hit valuations in the sector.

Apr 20, 2015

EU finance ministers asked to set capital markets union priorities

LONDON (Reuters) – Setting clear priorities would generate momentum for the European Union’s “capital markets union” plan to lift growth, EU president Latvia has proposed.

The CMU project aims to increase the amount of funds raised by stock, bond and other markets for companies to grow. The 28-country bloc relies heavily on banks for funds, which has been difficult since the financial crisis as lenders focus on building up capital defenses.

Apr 20, 2015

Draft EU rules on broker commission a setback for asset managers

LONDON (Reuters) – Efforts by banks and asset managers to dilute planned European Union rules on paying for research on stock picks are being rebuffed by the bloc’s executive, a draft EU document showed.

The European Commission is writing rules to implement an update of the EU’s securities trading law known as MiFID II.

Apr 17, 2015

Home from Brussels, Hill assures Britons EU is close to them

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union policymakers are much more favorable to British interests and ideas than many Britons think, Prime Minister David Cameron’s nominee to the EU executive told an audience from the City of London on Friday.

Three weeks before an election in which Cameron has tried to fend off Eurosceptics by promising a referendum on leaving the EU if voters return him to power, Jonathan Hill, EU financial services commissioner, said he had been struck since arriving in Brussels how much common ground there was with London.

Apr 17, 2015

EU prepares rules for tackling failed financial firms outside banking

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union is looking at creating rules on how to deal with financial firms outside the banking industry that run into trouble, including clearing houses, insurers and asset managers, the EU’s financial services chief said on Friday.

The 28-country bloc has already introduced rules on how to wind down troubled banks without turning to taxpayers for cash. It now wants a similar regime for other so-called systemic financial market participants.

Apr 17, 2015

EU’s British finance chief woos London capital market leaders

LONDON, April 17 (Reuters) – European Union plans to help
markets raise more funds for the economy play to London’s
strengths as a global trading centre, the bloc’s financial
services chief Jonathan Hill told leading bankers and dealers on

In his first speech to London’s financial community since
his appointment to the European Commission last November, the
former Conservative minister went out of his way to praise
London for its ability to innovate and adapt to change.

Apr 16, 2015

EU bank supervisors focus on bonuses, cyber resilience, conduct

LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) – European Union regulators will
focus this year on whether banks are complying with the bloc’s
new cap on bonuses, and doing enough to withstand cyber attacks
and prevent misconduct.

The cap, limiting bonuses to no more than fixed salary, or
twice that amount with shareholder approval, became law last
year but in practice applies to awards handed out from this year

    • 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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