Regulation Correspondent, Europe
Huw's Feed
Jul 3, 2014

Barclays sets up academy to improve training, culture

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) – Barclays, trying to
restore its reputation after a series of scandals, has created a
Compliance Career Academy in partnership with Cambridge
University to improve staff training.

Barclays was the first bank to be fined for the alleged
rigging of benchmark interest rates, which resulted in a $450
million fine and cost Bob Diamond, the bank’s CEO at the time,
his job. It was fined 26 million pounds ($44.24 million) in May
this year for manipulating gold prices, and last week New York’s
attorney general filed a lawsuit alleging fraud in its “dark
pool” trading venue.

Jul 3, 2014

A capital markets union could be next in EU in-tray

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) – The European Union may seek to
tighten its grip over markets to help find funds for economic
growth – a move that could stoke anti-EU sentiment in Britain,
the EU’s largest financial centre.

Bankers and policymakers say that while the idea of a
capital markets union is embryonic, it is seen as a logical step
after the euro zone completes its milestone banking union.

Jul 2, 2014

UK watchdog says no evidence that gold price is rigged

LONDON, July 2 (Reuters) – Collusion among banks in setting
the gold price benchmark was possible but there is no evidence
of this, a senior British regulator said on Wednesday when
answering lawmakers’ questions on the trustworthiness of the
gold market.

Gold prices and other benchmarks have come under scrutiny,
with banks fined $6 billion for rigging the Libor interest rate,
used to price a range of financial products. Allegations are
also emerging of potential rigging of currency markets.

Jul 1, 2014

Bank of England studies fallout from annuities reform

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – The Bank of England (BoE) is
asking insurers how they can stay in business after the British
government scrapped a rule forcing people to buy their most
successful product, an annuity pension.

Finance minister George Osborne stunned Britain’s pensions
industry in March when he announced the rule change, the biggest
reform of pensions in a generation to give savers a choice on
how to use money saved during their working lives.

Jul 1, 2014

EU bank watchdog backs keeping low capital charges on covered bonds

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – EU banking regulators have backed
the low capital treatment of top quality covered bonds against
the risk of default, a boost for Denmark and other major players
in the 2.8 trillion euro ($3.8 trillion) global market.

Covered bonds are debt backed by pools of home or commercial
property loans, and 90 percent of the global market is based in
Europe, especially in Denmark, Germany, Spain, France and

Jul 1, 2014

Bank of England policymakers differed over mortgage lending cap

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) – Bank of England policymakers
differed last month over how best to stop home-buyers from
borrowing too much, as they tried to reduce the risks from
rapidly rising house prices and high levels of debt.

A record of their June 17 meeting released on Tuesday also
revealed for the first time discussions between the BoE and
Britain’s finance ministry dating back to September 2011 over
how to protect against the risk of a euro zone break-up.

Jun 30, 2014

EU’s Almunia aims to wrap up remaining rate-fixing cases by October

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Europe’s antitrust chief said on
Monday that he aimed to wrap up the remaining interest rate
rigging cases against HSBC, JPMorgan, Credit
Agricole and brokerage ICAP before he leaves
office in October.

In May, the European Commission charged HSBC – Europe’s
biggest bank – alongside U.S. peer JPMorgan and France’s Credit
Agricole with rigging benchmark interest rates linked to the
euro, five months after handing down a record 1.7-billion-euro
fine against six other financial institutions for Euribor and
Libor offences.

Jun 30, 2014

EU’s Almunia says could probe Google’s YouTube dominance

LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Europe’s antitrust chief said on
Monday he could investigate Google’s YouTube if he saw
any attempt by the company to abuse its dominant position in
online video searching.

The comments by European Competition Commissioner Joaquin
Almunia came as he wraps up a separate case against Google, the
world’s most popular search engine, which was triggered by
complaints from Microsoft and others.

Jun 29, 2014

Rise of asset managers may create new risks – BIS report

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – While banks are dumping risky
assets as regulation bites, asset managers are plugging the
funding gap and using their growing clout in ways that could
harm markets, the Bank for International Settlements says.

Nearly six years after the financial crisis forced taxpayers
to bail out lenders, the global forum for central banks said in
its annual report on Sunday that the financial system is at a

Jun 27, 2014

EU throws down gauntlet to U.S. over derivatives

LONDON, June 27 (Reuters) – The European Union said it will
help build a seamless global market in financial derivatives by
accepting rules used in five countries, adding the United States
would get the green light too if it showed flexibility.

After the 2007-09 financial crisis in which derivatives like
credit default swaps played a key part in creating uncertainty,
countries across the world have introduced rules to make the
market more transparent and safer.

    • 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."
    • Follow Huw