Regulation Correspondent, Europe
Huw's Feed
Jun 4, 2014

EU watchdog blasts banks’ hybrid debt sales practices

LONDON, June 4 (Reuters) – Banks are giving retail customers
poor or misleading information about risks from investing in new
forms of hybrid debt for tapping in a crisis, a top European
Union regulator said on Wednesday.

Banks across the 28-country bloc are under pressure from
regulators to hold more capital and to supplement it with
instruments like contingent capital or “CoCos” that can be
written down or converted into equity if the bank that issued
them gets into trouble.

Jun 3, 2014

EU watchdog censures S&P for French rating cut error

LONDON, June 3 (Reuters) – Europe’s markets watchdog
censured credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on
Tuesday for incorrectly announcing a cut in France’s debt, which
compounded investor fears during the euro zone debt crisis.

The error in November 2011 gave European Union lawmakers
ammunition to pass three sets of laws to crack down on ratings
agencies in the 28-country bloc, where they face some of the
toughest rules in the world.

May 29, 2014

UK watchdog wants an ‘innovation heaven’ in financial products

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s markets regulator pledged on Thursday to offer a more sympathetic ear to financial firms wanting to develop new products that help customers save for their old age.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), struck a more conciliatory note after lawyers have criticised the year-old watchdog for being heavy handed and effectively vetoing new products.

May 28, 2014

First global revenue accounting rule set for 2017

LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) – Investors will be able to compare
more easily from 2017 how much companies from all parts of the
world earn under the first common global revenue rule published
on Wednesday.

Revenue is one of the most important lines in a company’s
accounts and a key benchmark for deciding on mergers and
acquisitions, but different accounting rules in the United
States and the rest of the world make company comparisons
harder.

May 27, 2014

UK accounting watchdog warns over bank audits

LONDON, May 28 (Reuters) – Accountants who check the books
of Britain’s banks must sharpen their act or could be ordered to
take corrective measures, the sector’s watchdog said in a report
showing how a core lesson from the financial crisis has yet to
be applied.

The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) said in its annual
audit quality inspections report that there was a significant
improvement in audits of listed companies in general, but the
banking sector continued to lag.

May 27, 2014

IMF’s Lagarde says bank reforms slowed by fierce industry pushback

LONDON (Reuters) – Progress in completing banking reforms to plug gaps highlighted by the 2007-09 financial crisis is too slow and is being hampered by fierce industry lobbying, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said banks were holding more capital now than they did in the run-up to the financial crisis when taxpayers had to shore up the sector.

May 23, 2014

Barclays slapped with $44 mln fine over gold price fix

LONDON, May 23 (Reuters) – Barclays Plc has been
fined 26 million pounds ($43.8 million) for failures in internal
controls that allowed a trader to manipulate the setting of gold
prices, just a day after the bank was fined for rigging Libor
interest rates in 2012.

Britain’s Barclays is the first bank to be fined over
attempted manipulation of the 95-year-old London gold market
daily “fix”, although a source familiar with the fine said it
was a one-off and not part of a wider investigation into gold
price rigging.

May 23, 2014

Barclays fined 26 million pounds over gold price fix

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Quote, Profile, Research) has been fined 26 million pounds for failures in internal controls that allowed a trader to manipulate the setting of gold prices just a day after the bank was fined for rigging Libor interest rates in 2012.

Britain’s Barclays is the first bank to be fined over attempted manipulation of the 95-year-old London gold market daily “fix”, although a source said the fine was a one-off and not part of a wider investigation into gold price rigging.

May 22, 2014

Banks, exchanges set to jostle over EU securities reform

LONDON, May 22 (Reuters) – European Union regulators have
published 800 pages of draft rules for a sweeping reform of the
bloc’s securities markets, sparking a race among banks and
exchanges to try to change any proposals that might damage their
profitability.

The 28-country bloc approved a new securities law this year
to better protect investors and apply lessons from the 2007-09
financial crisis. Its markets watchdog, the European Securities
and Markets Authority (ESMA), spelt out on Thursday how elements
of the law will be implemented by early 2017.

May 21, 2014

BoE’s Haldane say better run companies would boost growth

BRISTOL, England (Reuters) – Companies taking a longer-term view could help reduce inequality in society and boost economic growth over the medium term, a senior Bank of England official said on Wednesday.

Andy Haldane, executive director for financial stability, said short-termism at big listed companies, such as focusing on payouts to CEOs and dividends for shareholders “front and centre”, contributes to inequality.

    • 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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