Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Jan 7, 2014

UK watchdog says Co-op Bank chair appointment “not a mistake”

LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) – Britain’s financial watchdog said
it had no regrets about approving the appointment of Paul
Flowers to chair the Co-operative Bank in 2010.

Last year the bank fell under control of investors,
including U.S. hedge funds, after a 1.5 billion pound ($2.5
billion) capital shortfall was exposed.

Jan 6, 2014

EU bank trading plan stops short of U.S. Volcker Rule

LONDON, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Banks in the European Union face
limits on taking market bets with their own money under a draft
EU proposal that represents a central plank of attempts to
prevent a repeat of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009.

Policymakers want to rein in excessive trading risks in the
EU banking sector, whose assets total some 43 trillion euros
($59 trillion), that could threaten depositors if trades go
wrong and potentially put taxpayers on the hook in a rescue.

Dec 20, 2013

Path to a stronger financial system still strewn with dangers

LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – “What a week”, tweeted European
Union financial services chief Michel Barnier on Thursday after
securing an agreement on how to wind up failed banks without
making the region’s taxpayers foot the bill.

The deal, hammered out after months of characteristic
wrangling, brings Europe a step closer to the banking union seen
as vital to avoid another contagious financial crisis and offers
some Christmas cheer to policymakers needing some victories to
present to recession-weary electorates.

Dec 20, 2013

EU banks watchdog says lenders ahead of liquidity rule

LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The European Union’s top banks
hold on average bigger cash-like buffers than required though
some specialised lenders should get some leeway, the bloc’s
banking watchdog said on Friday.

Banks will have to hold a so-called liquidity buffer made up
of top quality assets akin to cash, such as government bonds,
that can be sold easily so that lenders can withstand short-term
shocks unaided by taxpayers.

Dec 20, 2013

Accountants Grant Thornton says new EU rules spurring competition

LONDON, Dec 20 (Reuters) – European Union rules agreed this
week to increase competition in accounting are already being
felt two years before they take effect, accountants Grant
Thornton International said.

The EU’s new law from 2016 will force 35,000 companies
across the 28-country bloc to switch accountants about every ten
years to avoid overly cosy-relationships.

Dec 19, 2013

UK watchdog fines EY over audit of failed Christmas club

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Britain’s accounting watchdog has
fined EY 750,000 pounds ($1.2 million) for failing to meet
required standards in its auditing of Christmas savings club
Farepak Food and Gifts, which ceased trading in 2006 owing money
to over 100,000 customers.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) also formally
reprimanded EY and ordered it to pay 425,000 pounds in costs.

Dec 19, 2013

Regulators to soften rules to help revive securitisation

LONDON, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Global regulators have softened
proposed new rules for securitisation in a bid to help to kick
start a financing method tarnished by the financial crisis.

Central bankers and policymakers see securitisation, or
packaging loans into bonds, as an important source of funding
for the wider economy.

Dec 18, 2013

EU banking watchdog to tackle risk pricing variations

LONDON, Dec 18 (Reuters) – The European Union’s banking
watchdog is to meet national supervisors, in an attempt to iron
out wide differences in how banks price risk and end any
competitive advantage some may gain from having less rigorous
in-house systems.

Announcing plans for the meetings on Wednesday, the European
Banking Authority (EBA) published several reports highlighting
wide variations in how banks across the 28-country bloc assess
the risks on their books, giving it ammunition to take action in
the course of next year.

Dec 17, 2013

EU in preliminary deal on audit market shake-up

LONDON (Reuters) – The European Union has reached a deal on forcing companies to periodically change accountants, as the bloc aims to improve book-keeping quality in the wake of the financial crisis.

The EU hopes a requirement for companies to regularly switch auditors will break up too-cozy relationships, increase competition between accountants and help avoid a repeat of the 2007-2009 crisis, which resulted in the bailout of banks given a clean bill of health by their auditors only months earlier.

Dec 17, 2013

New Basel study confirms variations in how banks tot up risks

LONDON (Reuters) – Global banking regulators have reinforced their campaign to impose more consistent ways for banks to assess risks on their trading books with a second finding of wide variations between systems in use in the sector.

The Basel Committee said on Tuesday a review of how lenders assign risk weightings to more complex trading positions showed big differences, reflecting the in-house models that banks use for their calculations.

    • 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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