Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Jan 31, 2014

EU watchdog sets out initial terms of bank health check

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union banks face their toughest probe yet in a bid to weed out the sector’s weaklings, the bloc’s chief watchdog said on Friday, announcing stress tests intended to help draw a line under the financial crisis.

More than half a decade since the start of the 2008-2009 credit crunch, and despite more than 1 trillion euros ($1.4 trillion) of state support, confidence in the sector remains fragile and the EU’s latest health checks are intended to settle any lingering doubts over its finances.

Jan 29, 2014

Deloitte leapfrogs PwC to become top accountant: global survey

LONDON (Reuters) – Deloitte has pipped rival PwC to become the world’s top accountant by revenue in the face of rising pressure on fees and new rules boosting competition, a global survey showed.

The International Accounting Bulletin said Deloitte DLTE.UL, PwC PWC.UL, KPMG KPMG.UL and EY ERNY.UL, dubbed the Big Four, still dominate the sector with over two-thirds of the market, dwarfing the combined 33 percent share of mid-tier firms like BDO and Grant Thornton.

Jan 27, 2014

Swaps body to reform benchmark to make rigging less likely

LONDON (Reuters) – A benchmark used in the $630 trillion market for swaps will be based on actual market transactions rather than quotes from banks this year in an effort to make it less vulnerable to rigging and to comply with new global transparency rules.

The blueprint from the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) is the latest response to intense regulatory pressure being exerted on the financial industry to restore trust after rigging scandals.

Jan 27, 2014

Companies set to win lease accounting concessions

LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – A draft rule forcing companies to
put leases on their balance sheets is set to be eased after
fierce opposition from companies worried that investors would
take fright and that loans linked to leverage would be put at
risk.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) and the
U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) have proposed a
single global book-keeping rule to increase transparency for
markets and make it easier to compare firms.

Jan 27, 2014

Europe treads softly in challenging big banks’ power

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Europe will consider how
to challenge the dominance of its big banks this week, but any
new rules to isolate risky trading will take years to begin and
there will be no attempt to split off market betting from
deposit taking.

In a blueprint expected on Wednesday, the European
Commission will outline how trading by banks can be walled off
from customers’ cash, but the debate among countries, many of
whom are sceptical of the need to change, starts only in 2015.

Jan 23, 2014

Exclusive: Germany, France attack EU plan to curb big banks

LONDON (Reuters) – Germany and France have attacked European Union plans to curb big banks, warning that this could jeopardize a delicate economic recovery, a paper seen by Reuters showed.

Next week, the European Commission will unveil a blueprint to challenge the power of big banks, tackling one of the biggest risks exposed by the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Jan 23, 2014

Germany, France attack EU plan to curb big banks

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Germany and France have attacked
European Union plans to curb big banks, warning that this could
jeopardise a delicate economic recovery, a paper seen by Reuters
showed.

Next week, the European Commission will unveil a blueprint
to challenge the power of big banks, tackling one of the biggest
risks exposed by the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

Jan 23, 2014

Banker Bischoff to head Britain’s accounting watchdog

LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Britain named Win Bischoff as the
Financial Reporting Council’s new chairman who will face major
changes from Europe and several high-profile investigations at
the accounting watchdog.

The government said Bischoff, who is stepping down from his
current post as chairman of Lloyds Banking Group, will
join the FRC on May 1, replacing Baroness Hogg whose departure
had already been announced.

Jan 23, 2014

UK’s European court blow to shape Libor supervision

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s defeat in the European Union’s top court over short-selling rules strengthens the case for EU-level supervision of market benchmarks like Libor, lawmakers said on Thursday.

The European Court of Justice ruled on Wednesday that an EU body, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), does have the power in emergencies to ban short-selling or bets on falling share prices.

Jan 22, 2014

EU’s top court rejects UK challenge to short-selling law

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The European Union’s top
court has dismissed Britain’s challenge to a law on banning the
short-selling of shares in market emergencies, dealing a blow to
UK attempts to limit the influence of EU rules on the City of
London.

British Prime Minister David Cameron had been seeking to
limit EU controls on London, the bloc’s biggest financial
centre, reflecting a broader attempt to renegotiate the
country’s membership of the EU ahead of a promised referendum on
staying in the bloc.

    • 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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