Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Nov 18, 2013

Banks’ book-keeping leaves investors in the dark: watchdog

LONDON (Reuters) – Big variations in how major European Union banks do their accounts can leave investors guessing over their financial health and could also undermine financial stability, a top regulator said on Monday.

Banks’ accounting practices have come under regulatory scrutiny following the financial crisis when a number of banks, whose accounts showed they were healthy, had to be rescued by taxpayers.

Nov 15, 2013

EU set for battle over rules for securities markets

LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) – A battle over the rules governing
Europe’s stock, bond, commodities and derivatives markets
rachets up next week when the EU’s financial services chief
pushes for stricter controls which some member states say risk
driving business away.

European Union commissioner Michel Barnier fired a first
shot last month when he warned the European Parliament and
member states not to dilute his sweeping reform of the bloc’s
securities trading rules known as Markets in Financial
Instruments Directive or MiFID.

Nov 14, 2013

China helps fuel growth in global shadow banking

LONDON (Reuters) – The world’s “shadow banking” sector grew by $5 trillion last year to $71 trillion, helped by a 42 percent expansion in China, according to the latest annual figures from the Financial Stability Board.

Shadow banking covers more lightly-regulated areas of finance that includes bank-like activities such as borrowing and lending that take place outside banks. These include the repurchase agreement market, securities lending, real estate, hedge funds, money market funds, and securitization.

Nov 14, 2013

Financial Conduct Authority says swaps bill for banks still uncertain

LONDON (Reuters) – The full bill Britain’s banks must pay for mis-selling interest rate swaps won’t be known for some time, with lenders still not handling claims fast enough, a top regulator said.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said the bulk of the 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) banks have set aside so far for compensation is for redress for the amounts actually paid for the products.

Nov 14, 2013

UK watchdog says swaps bill for banks still uncertain

LONDON (Reuters) – The full bill Britain’s banks must pay for mis-selling interest rate swaps won’t be known for some time, with lenders still not handling claims fast enough, a top regulator said.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), said the bulk of the 3 billion pounds ($4.8 billion) banks have set aside so far for compensation is for redress for the amounts actually paid for the products.

Nov 13, 2013

EU agrees deal on long-delayed insurance capital rules

LONDON (Reuters) – After years of delay, the European Union on Wednesday agreed new rules which will from 2016 force insurers to hold enough capital to keep policyholders safe.

Lawmakers from the European Parliament and officials from member states met in Brussels on Wednesday.

Nov 13, 2013

EU close to deal on long-delayed insurance capital rules

LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – The European Union is close to
agreeing new rules which will force insurers to hold enough
capital to keep policyholders safe, after years of delay.

Lawmakers from the European Parliament and officials from
member states have set aside six hours from 1430 GMT on
Wednesday to nail down a deal. The bloc’s financial services
chief Michel Barnier was due to attend in person to nudge them
over the finishing line.

Nov 12, 2013

EU seeks to increase influence on global accounting rules

LONDON, Nov 12 (Reuters) – The European Union is seeking to
increase its influence over global accounting standards by
beefing up the agency that scrutinises new rules and in certain
cases tweaking how they are applied in the bloc.

The book-keeping standards, the bedrock of markets, are
written by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).
They apply in over 100 countries, including the EU, but not the
United States.

Nov 11, 2013

HSBC, JPMorgan top global banks capital surcharge list

LONDON (Reuters) – JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and HSBC (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) topped the list of the world’s top 29 banks that must hold extra capital from 2016 because of their size and reach, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) said on Monday.

The FSB is the regulatory taskforce for the 20 biggest economies, whose leaders agreed in 2011 on extra capital requirements to keep top lenders stable in rocky markets.

Nov 7, 2013

Cyber attack “war game” to test London banks on November 12

LONDON (Reuters) – Thousands of staff across dozens of London financial firms will be put through a “war games” scenario on Tuesday to test how well they can handle a major cyber attack, people familiar with the matter said.

In one of the largest exercises of its kind in the world, the test dubbed “Waking Shark II” will bombard firms with a series of announcements and scenarios, such as how a major attack on computer systems might hit stock exchanges and unfold on social media.

    • 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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