Regulation Correspondent, Europe
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Feb 11, 2015

New guide aims to help firms raise funds privately across Europe

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – New ground rules to help
companies raise funds privately across Europe have been
introduced as the EU financial industry seeks to reduce a
reliance on banks and U.S. investors.

Banks are traditionally the main source of corporate funding
in Europe, but EU officials want to increase how much cash for
companies is raised from markets, to make the region less
vulnerable to banking shocks like the 2008-9 global crisis.

Feb 10, 2015

UK lawmakers, watchdog spar over rate swaps compensation

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – A scheme for compensating
companies mis-sold complex products by banks to shield against
interest rate hikes is skewed in favour of the lenders, British
lawmakers said on Tuesday.

The scheme was set up by the Financial Conduct Authority to
require banks such as Lloyds, Barclays, RBS
and HSBC to compensate thousands of small
companies that were mis-sold products known as interest rate
swaps.

Feb 10, 2015

UK banks wrongly shunning customers in dash to cut risk, watchdog says

LONDON, Feb 10 (Reuters) – Banks are wrongly shunning some
customers and need to take a more targeted approach to applying
rules aimed at tackling money laundering and channeling cash to
terrorists, Britain’s markets watchdog said on Tuesday.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the Financial Conduct
Authority (FCA), told lawmakers that banks were “de-risking” by
giving a “wide berth” to whole groups of customers.

Feb 6, 2015

Lawyer says British banks are off the hook with embedded rate swaps

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) – Banks cannot be forced to
compensate small companies that bought so-called embedded
products to shield themselves from rising interest rates, a
senior lawyer told British lawmakers examining the matter after
complaints from borrowers.

Since 2010 small companies have bought 60,000 such hedging
instruments, which are considered part of a bank loan rather
than a separate insurance product. Some borrowers claim that
they were mis-sold, but the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
has said it does not have the power to launch a redress scheme.

Feb 3, 2015

Big banks face $500bn “bail in” bonds bill – S&P

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – The world’s 30 biggest banks will
have to issue more than $500 billion in bonds to comply with
proposed global rules aimed at shielding taxpayers from the risk
of future banking failures, credit rating agency Standard &
Poor’s (S&P) said on Tuesday.

Leaders of the Group of 20 economies (G20) have proposed
that 30 so-called globally systemic banks (G-SIBs) such as
Goldman Sachs, HSBC and Societe Generale
should hold a buffer of bonds equivalent to between 16
and 20 percent of their risk-weighted assets such as loans,
perhaps by 2019.

Feb 3, 2015

EU capital market reforms won’t unleash wave of new rules – Hill

LONDON, Feb 3 (Reuters) – European Union plans to make
markets better at raising cash for companies won’t spawn a wave
of legislation, the bloc’s financial services chief said on
Tuesday.

Jonathan Hill is the commissioner responsible for putting in
place a capital markets union (CMU), a cornerstone of the EU
executive’s plans to boost jobs and growth by for example
investing more in roads and start-up companies.

Feb 2, 2015

Lawmakers say UK losing clout in shaping EU financial rules

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s clout in the European Union is weakening just when plans for a capital markets union present a “golden opportunity” for London’s financial sector, UK lawmakers said on Monday.

Efforts by Europe to strengthen banking rules to avoid a repeat of the 2007-09 financial crisis are “admirable”, a report from the EU economic affairs committee of parliament’s upper House of Lords said.

Jan 30, 2015

UK trader who spent investors’ cash on champagne, travel jailed for 7 years

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Alex Hope, who set himself up as
a foreign exchange trader, has been jailed for seven years for
defrauding investors of 5.5 million pounds ($7.5 million), of
which he spent nearly half on a globe-trotting, champagne
lifestyle, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority said on Friday.

Hope was found guilty of fraud by Southwark Crown Court in
central London earlier this month and was sentenced on Friday.
The sentence equals the longest prison term following a
prosecution by the UK markets regulator.

Jan 30, 2015

UK may set deadline for insurance compensation claims

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s markets watchdog will consider imposing a deadline on customers claiming compensation for the mis-selling of loan insurance, potentially drawing a line under the country’s costliest consumer finance scandal.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Friday it would collect evidence on whether consumers mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) were being compensated properly and use it to assess whether the current approach was working.

Jan 30, 2015

ECB will take time to bed in as bank watchdog – Bundesbank’s Dombret

LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – The euro zone’s three-month old
banking super-regulator won’t get everything right straight away
as it directly supervises big, complex lenders for the first
time, a senior official at Germany’s Bundesbank said on Friday.

The European Central Bank (ECB) became direct supervisor for
120 banks such as Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale
from Nov. 4 in the biggest leap in European financial
integration since the single currency was launched.

    • 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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