Correspondent, Brussels
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Sep 27, 2013

Europe’s plan to address weak banks risks unraveling

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s (ECB) plan to test the health of the euro zone’s largest lenders without the means to plug any holes it uncovers risks foiling what some see as the bloc’s final chance to put its financial crisis behind it.

Unlike in the United States, where rapid infusions of capital put its banks quickly back on track, Europe’s financial system remains frozen, with lenders in countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy hurt by weak demand and soured loans.

Sep 27, 2013

Britain’s EU bonus challenge offers scant hope for bankers

LONDON/BRUSSELS Sept 27 (Reuters) – Britain’s challenge to
European Union rules capping bankers’ bonuses is likely to get
bogged down in court long beyond their implementation, and
critics say it is more about pleasing domestic voters
unimpressed by the loss of powers to Brussels.

The UK, which houses Europe’s biggest financial centre, was
outvoted when the European Union agreed that bonuses must be no
more than a banker’s fixed pay, or twice that amount with
shareholder backing.

Sep 18, 2013

Europe sets out plans to stop benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union regulators
proposed new rules on setting commodity and interest-rate
benchmarks on Wednesday that backed away from their earlier
plans for sweeping EU oversight of the multi-trillion-euro
markets.

The draft law would regulate benchmarks for the first time
at the European level and aims to prevent scandals such as the
rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor), used to
price some $300 trillion of products including home loans and
credit cards globally.

Sep 18, 2013

EU piles pressure on Croatia over extradition law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union moved a step closer to imposing financial sanctions on Croatia on Wednesday, frustrated that Zagreb has failed to make its extradition laws comply with EU legislation despite sustained pressure from Brussels.

Croatia, the EU’s newest member state, has two weeks to amend its laws or face the suspension of financial aid, which among other things will stall efforts to improve border controls and harm its bid to join Europe’s passport-free zone.

Sep 18, 2013

EU softens new rules to tackle benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 18 (Reuters) – European Union regulators
proposed new rules on Wednesday on how commodity-price and
interest-rate benchmarks are set, but the plans are a paring
back of original ambitions for greater EU oversight of the
multi-trillion-euro markets.

The draft law, presented by the EU’s regulation chief Michel
Barnier, is a central element of the bloc’s response to the
rigging of the London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) – a
benchmark used to price products from home loans to credit cards
worth $300 trillion.

Sep 17, 2013

EU softens new rules on benchmark rigging

BRUSSELS, Sept 17 (Reuters) – EU regulators will abandon
earlier plans to place commodity and financial benchmarks under
the sole watch of a Paris-based regulator when they announce a
legal framework to prevent price rigging on Wednesday.

The draft law, to be presented by the European Union’s
regulation chief Michel Barnier, is a central plank of the
bloc’s response to the rigging of the London Interbank Offered
Rate (Libor) – a benchmark used to price products from home
loans to credit cards worth $300 trillion.

Sep 16, 2013

Analysis : German plan may weaken European banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A German plan to scale back a major element of European banking union may reinvigorate the ambitious project, but also threatens to compromise its ability to prevent future crises.

If Berlin’s idea prevails, the resulting banking union would fall well short of what European leaders originally envisaged as their response to the 2008 financial crisis, leaving small but risky banks outside the scheme.

Sep 16, 2013

German plan may weaken European banking union

BRUSSELS, Sept 16 (Reuters) – A German plan to scale back a
major element of European banking union may reinvigorate the
ambitious project, but also threatens to compromise its ability
to prevent future crises.

If Berlin’s idea prevails, the resulting banking union would
fall well short of what European leaders originally envisaged as
their response to the 2008 financial crisis, leaving small but
risky banks outside the scheme.

Sep 10, 2013

ECB’s Asmussen sees risk of large spillovers from Fed tightening

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The impact of the U.S. central bank unwinding its policy stimulus risks being greater now than in 1994, when it started a tightening cycle and bond markets crashed, a European Central Bank policymaker said on Tuesday.

ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen said the 1994 episode highlighted the importance of central banks clearly communicating exit strategies from their expansionary policies.

Sep 5, 2013

EU’s Reding warns Croatia of action in ‘days’ in extradition row

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission has warned Croatia it may face legal action soon if it does not quickly change a law that clashes with EU extradition rules.

Last July, the small Adriatic state became the 28th member of the European Union, marking a recovery from years of war after Yugoslavia collapsed in the 1990s.

    • 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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