Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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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.

Dec 16, 2013

‘Doom loop’ tying European banks and governments reinforced

LONDON (Reuters) – European banks have filled their balance sheets with national debt since 2011, bringing them easy profits but reinforcing a “doom loop” linking weak banks to governments with shaky finances.

The euro zone debt crisis showed banks can suffer big losses from holdings of their own countries’ bonds, which in turn can torpedo state finances if banks need to be bailed out.

Dec 13, 2013

Bankers get some breathing space over EU bonus cap

LONDON (Reuters) – Bankers in the European Union earning more than 500,000 euros a year may be excluded from a cap on their bonuses if they are not major risk takers, according to a revised rule from the EU’s banking watchdog on Friday.

Faced with public anger at banking excess, the EU approved a cap on bankers’ bonuses, limiting them to no more than their annual salary, or double that amount with shareholder approval. The cap will take effect on bonuses awarded for performance in 2014 and handed out in early 2015.

Dec 13, 2013

EU watchdog eases rule capping bankers’ bonuses

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Bankers in the European Union
earning over 500,000 euros ($688,000) a year could be excluded
from a cap on their bonuses if they are not major risk takers,
according to a revised rule from the bloc’s banking watchdog on
Friday.

Faced with public anger at banking excess, the EU approved a
cap on bankers’ bonuses, limiting them to no more than fixed
annual salary, or double that amount with shareholder approval.

Dec 13, 2013

Banks will have to beef up capital buffers for fund investments

LONDON, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Banks will have to hold more
capital to cover investments in some “shadow banks”, such as
hedge funds and private equity, from January 2017, global
regulators said on Friday.

The new rule is part of wider efforts by the Group of 20
economies (G20) to contain risks in the $70 trillion shadow
banking sector, which was criticised for its opacity by
regulators during the 2007/09 financial crisis.

Dec 13, 2013

EU banking watchdog warns of risks from Bitcoin

LONDON (Reuters) – People using Bitcoins are on their own when it comes to losses, the European Union’s banking watchdog said on Friday in a formal warning to consumers on the risks of using unregulated online currencies.

The European Banking Authority said there was no protection or compensation for people whose “digital wallets” are hacked, a transfer of virtual money goes wrong or a platform is shut.

Dec 13, 2013

UK accounting body wants to lighten the load of boilerplate

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Company reports will continue to
balloon with irrelevant disclosures unless regulators are
clearer on what can be left out, an international accounting
body said on Friday.

There has long been talk of cutting back on boilerplate
disclosures and on the need to make them relevant, but little
concrete action has been taken, the Institute of Chartered
Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) said in a report.

Dec 12, 2013

UK accounting watchdog to review bookkeeping at banks

LONDON, Dec 12 (Reuters) – Britain’s accounting watchdog
will begin reviewing bookkeeping at banks in the second quarter
of 2014 to find out why the lessons of the financial crisis are
being applied so slowly.

Several banks in Britain had to be shored up by taxpayers
during the 2007-09 crisis, prompting policymakers to ask why
auditors gave the lenders a clean bill of health beforehand.

    • 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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