Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Feb 14, 2014

EU law on market benchmarks faces delay for months

LONDON (Reuters) – European Union rules to regulate financial benchmarks like Libor will probably be delayed for months, a senior lawmaker said, because a key vote next week is likely to be postponed.

The European Parliament’s economic affairs committee was due to vote on a draft law on Monday. But center-left and Green lawmakers want a study of the costs and benefits of a deal on the rules that EU politicians put together. Such studies can take weeks.

Feb 14, 2014

UK watchdog says annuity pensions market not working

LONDON (Reuters) – A part of Britain’s pensions market is disorderly with insurers maximizing profits and failing to give the best deal, according to a watchdog review that drew criticism for ruling out immediate reforms.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s review of annuities, where a pot of money saved over a working life is swapped for an annual income until death, found too little competition.

Feb 12, 2014

Exclusive: EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap

LONDON (Reuters) – The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.

The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment.

Feb 12, 2014

EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The savings of the European
Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term
investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by
banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.

The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from
its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of
funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other
investment.

Feb 12, 2014

EU, United States iron out differences over derivatives trading

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) – The European Commission and the
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission said they have agreed
a common approach for swaps contracts so they can be traded on
electronic platforms to aid transparency and reduce risk.

World leaders called for the rules to shine a light on the
$700 trillion market for credit default swaps and interest swaps
found at the heart of the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Feb 11, 2014

Bank of England says no evidence it was told of forex manipulation

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England has seen no evidence to back media allegations that it condoned or was aware of manipulation of reference rates in the foreign exchange market, it said on Tuesday.

The central bank discussed with top London currency dealers their process for setting foreign exchange benchmark rates at a meeting in April 2012, more than a year before a global investigation into alleged manipulation.

Feb 10, 2014

EU lawmakers propose pay transparency for money market funds

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Managers of the European Union’s
trillion-euro money market funds, which give access to
short-term finance at low interest rates, will need to show
their pay packets do not encourage too much risk-taking under a
proposal from the bloc’s lawmakers.

It marks the latest EU attempt to extend pay rules for
bankers to other parts of the financial sector in a bid to avoid
the lure of a big bonus encouraging people to take on more risk.

Feb 10, 2014

EU rules to light up derivatives markets set for shaky start

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – New rules coming into force in
Europe this week to shine more light on the $700 trillion
derivatives markets will take years to produce a clearer picture
of these complex products which were at the heart of the
financial crisis.

When Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008 markets were in the
dark over a tangle of derivatives on the U.S. investment bank’s
books. Financial markets froze because of uncertainty about who
was exposed to Lehman’s derivatives, such as credit default
swaps or interest rate swaps. U.S. insurer AIG also ran
up big losses linked to derivatives.

Feb 7, 2014

EU to rule on controversial British nuclear deal this year

LONDON/PARIS, Feb 7 (Reuters) – European Union antitrust
chief Joaquin Almunia said on Friday Britain must clarify why
state aid is needed to build a 19 billion euro ($26 billion)
nuclear plant with French state-controlled utility EDF.

“We need the UK authorities’ cooperation. My intention is to
be able to adopt a final decision on this before the end of the
year,” he told reporters in London.

Feb 7, 2014

EU says Gazprom yet to satisfy its concerns over prices

LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Gazprom has not yet satisfied the
European Commission’s concerns over pricing and the European
Union’s executive body may still charge the state-controlled
Russian gas monopoly with antitrust abuses, the EU competition
chief said on Friday.

The world’s top gas producer and the supplier of a quarter
of Europe’s gas needs, has been under EU investigation since
September 2013 for suspected anti-competitive behaviour,
including overcharging customers and blocking rival suppliers.

    • 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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