Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Feb 26, 2014

Britain sets lighter conditions for foreign investment bank branches

LONDON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Britain’s central bank set
lighter conditions on Wednesday for branches of Chinese and
other non-European investment banks as part of efforts to
bolster London’s role as a financial centre.

The new rules reverse a previous policy of putting pressure
on non-EU lenders operating branches in Britain to become
standalone subsidiaries with their own capital and liquidity
buffers – a costlier undertaking.

Feb 25, 2014

EU watchdog says will take care in fragile bond market

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – The European Union’s securities
watchdog said it will tread carefully in regulating government
and corporate bonds to avoid crimping liquidity in already
fragile markets that are key to funding economic growth.

Verena Ross, executive director of the European Securities
and Markets Authority (ESMA), said changes to market practices
were inevitable under new EU rules in 2016.

Feb 20, 2014

Estonia kicks off haggling over European transaction tax

TALLINN/LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Estonia has called for
pension funds to be exempt from a planned tax on transactions in
11 European countries, piling pressure on France and Germany who
want a deal on the levy within weeks.

It aims to recoup taxpayer money given to banks during the
2007-09 financial crisis, and is seen by some politicians as a
vote winner at a time of public anger over bankers’ bonuses and
fines on lenders for rigging interest rates.

Feb 20, 2014

EU watchdogs see progress on reforming Euribor rates

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – A European bank industry body has
made substantial progress in shielding the Euribor interest rate
benchmark from rigging by traders, two EU regulators on

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the
European Banking Authority (EBA) published guidelines a year ago
as they sought to restore public confidence in Euribor, the Euro
Interbank Offered Rate.

Feb 18, 2014

UK fund managers promise more transparency on research costs

LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Britain’s top fund managers
pledged on Tuesday to be fully open with customers over how
their money is spent on investment research in an attempt to
limit a looming regulatory crackdown.

Managers pay brokers commission to cover trading fees and
research, and are allowed to pass on these costs to their own
customers, who already pay an annual management fee to the
investment fund.

Feb 17, 2014

EU lawmakers delay money market, benchmark rules

LONDON, Feb 17 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers have
delayed new rules to regulate money market funds used by big
companies to park billions of euros after they clashed over how
tough the changes should be.

The funds are also used by banks for short-term funding and
the most contested element is a requirement for one type of
fund, known as constant net asset value (CNAV), to hold a cash
buffer equivalent to 3 percent of assets.

Feb 17, 2014

Germany, France seek to revive transaction tax plan

LONDON (Reuters) – Germany and France will lead a face-saving bid this week to revive a flagging project to tax financial transactions in 11 euro zone countries and allay fears it could hamper economic recovery.

The tax is expected to be scaled back from an original plan to introduce it from January to raise 35 billion euros ($48 billion) annually to make banks pay back some of the money received in the 2007-09 financial crisis.

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.

    • 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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