Correspondent, Brussels
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Jan 29, 2014

Europe backs down in bid to tackle mega-banks

BRUSSELS, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Europe will unveil a blueprint
to challenge the power of big banks on Wednesday but critics
believe it will change little as it does not strictly separate
multi-billion-euro market bets from savers’ money.

After the collapse of Wall Street’s Lehman Brothers in 2008,
world leaders pledged to tackle banks that were “too big to
fail”. Yet throughout the crisis, many of Europe’s top banks
continued to grow.

Jan 28, 2014

EU justice chief attacks European “hypocrisy” on spying

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Some EU countries that have criticized U.S. cyber surveillance are “hypocritical” as they themselves are failing to protect citizens’ private information, the European Union’s top justice official said on Tuesday.

Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding – a critic of the data gathering exposed by former U.S. spy contractor Edward Snowden – said she was seeking more legal assurances from Washington but urged European countries to improve their own behavior.

Jan 27, 2014

Germany’s Schaeuble signals support for euro zone parliament

BRUSSELS, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Germany’s finance minister said
on Monday he was open to the creation of a separate European
parliament for countries using the euro, a step that could
deepen divisions within the European Union.

Wolfgang Schaeuble’s comments, made during a visit to
Brussels, challenge the very foundations of the European Union
where lawmaking for all 28 nations is by the bloc’s current
parliament.

Jan 27, 2014

Euro zone examines faster fund for bad banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone may reopen the debate on how soon it will share the costs of winding down banks after a European Central Bank call to accelerate the move towards mutual support won some backing.

The European Union’s blueprint to close failing banks depends on a ‘resolution’ fund, into which banks are to pay roughly 55 billion euros ($75 billion) over 10 years.

Jan 27, 2014

Europe treads softly in challenging big banks’ power

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Europe will consider how
to challenge the dominance of its big banks this week, but any
new rules to isolate risky trading will take years to begin and
there will be no attempt to split off market betting from
deposit taking.

In a blueprint expected on Wednesday, the European
Commission will outline how trading by banks can be walled off
from customers’ cash, but the debate among countries, many of
whom are sceptical of the need to change, starts only in 2015.

Jan 22, 2014

EU’s top court rejects UK challenge to short-selling law

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) – The European Union’s top
court has dismissed Britain’s challenge to a law on banning the
short-selling of shares in market emergencies, dealing a blow to
UK attempts to limit the influence of EU rules on the City of
London.

British Prime Minister David Cameron had been seeking to
limit EU controls on London, the bloc’s biggest financial
centre, reflecting a broader attempt to renegotiate the
country’s membership of the EU ahead of a promised referendum on
staying in the bloc.

Jan 21, 2014

EU parliament chief warns of flaws in Europe’s banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The president of the European Parliament has warned it may not be possible to finalize critical legislation dealing with Europe’s problem banks on time because differences among negotiators remain deep.

The parliament must sign off on a scheme agreed late last year by EU countries to close failing banks, completing a sweeping reform known as banking union and intended to bolster confidence in the euro zone and its fragile lenders.

Dec 19, 2013

Analysis: Europe’s half-hearted bid to protect its banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s efforts to form a united front behind euro zone banks are reaching a climax, but many fear they will fail to restore confidence and prove flimsy should another crisis strike.

After more than a year of talks, ministers from across the European Union agreed early on Thursday a scheme to close failing banks, but the process will be complex and politicized. They also stopped short of an ambitious plan for euro zone countries to help each other in tackling problem lenders.

Dec 19, 2013

Europe’s half-hearted bid to protect its banks

BRUSSELS, Dec 19 (Reuters) – Europe’s efforts to form a
united front behind euro zone banks are reaching a climax, but
many fear they will fail to restore confidence and prove flimsy
should another crisis strike.

After more than a year of talks, ministers from across the
European Union agreed early on Thursday a scheme to close
failing banks, but the process will be complex and politicised.
They also stopped short of an ambitious plan for euro zone
countries to help each other in tackling problem lenders.

Dec 19, 2013

Europe moves to banking union with blueprint for failing lenders

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union agreed on Thursday a blueprint to close failing banks but stopped short of a more ambitious plan for the euro zone to unite in tackling its troubled lenders.

More than five years since a financial crisis struck, Europe is on the verge of finalizing one its most ambitious reforms since the launch of the euro – an agency and fund to shut problem banks as soon as the European Central Bank starts to police them next year.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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