Correspondent, Brussels
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Jun 4, 2013

EU wrangling could soften rules on fund manager bonuses

BRUSSELS, June 4 (Reuters) – Wrangling in the European
Parliament over proposals to rein in the pay of fund managers is
making a strict banker-style limit on bonuses ever less likely.

A parliamentary panel called earlier this year for tighter
control of fund manager pay. But more than three months later,
lawmakers are still split over whether to demand that bonuses
are capped at the level of salary.

May 30, 2013

Exclusive: Europe plans major scaling back of financial trading tax

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European countries plan to scale back a proposed financial transactions tax drastically, initially imposing a tiny charge on share deals only and taking much longer than originally intended to achieve a full roll-out.

While yet to be formally proposed, the sweeping revisions would mark a victory for banks and trading organizations which have lobbied furiously against a scheme aimed at making them contribute to the costs of the financial crisis.

May 30, 2013

Europe plans major scaling back of financial trading tax

BRUSSELS, May 30 (Reuters) – European countries plan to
scale back a proposed financial transactions tax drastically,
initially imposing a tiny charge on share deals only and taking
much longer than originally intended to achieve a full roll-out.

While yet to be formally proposed, the sweeping revisions
would mark a victory for banks and trading organisations which
have lobbied furiously against a scheme aimed at making them
contribute to the costs of the financial crisis.

May 23, 2013

Pension funds relieved as EU drops capital rules proposal

LONDON/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European regulators have dropped a bid to make pension funds subject to the same capital rules as banks and insurers, which could have cost European businesses billions of pounds to make their pension schemes more financially secure.

Michel Barnier, European commissioner in charge of drafting business regulation, said he would instead propose pension fund legislation in the autumn that would focus on governance, transparency and reporting requirements.

May 23, 2013

EU wants big companies to reveal national tax bills

BRUSSELS, May 23 (Reuters) – Europe’s top regulatory
official is seeking to force large companies to disclose how
much tax they pay in each country where they operate, a measure
some politicians say could curb tax avoidance.

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of
drafting business regulation, said in a speech in Amsterdam that
rules which will force banks to report their profits, taxes and
subsidies by country from 2015 should be extended to cover other
companies.

May 22, 2013

Europe targets Switzerland in fight against bank secrecy

BRUSSELS, May 22 (Reuters) – Europe edged closer to lifting
banking secrecy on Wednesday after Austria said it was ready to
share data on foreign depositors but Vienna’s support could fade
should efforts to strike a similar deal with Switzerland fail.

Austria’s dropping of objections allowed EU leaders to
commit to an exchange of bank information between countries by
the end of the year, as cash-strapped states seek to stop tax
evasion and close loopholes highlighted by Apple Inc’s use of a
base in Ireland.

May 22, 2013

Europe closes in on tax havens; Austria agrees to swap bank data

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe moved closer to ending banking secrecy on Wednesday after Austria dropped objections to sharing data on foreign depositors and the EU focused on negotiating a similar agreement with Switzerland.

“It’s a bad day for tax cheats,” Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told reporters at a meeting of EU leaders to discuss fighting tax fraud. “We will act jointly and I believe we will manage the exchange of data by the end of the year.”

May 17, 2013

ECB eyes supervisor role to squeeze weak banks

BRUSSELS, May 17 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank could
use its new supervisory role from next year to single out weak
banks and make it harder for them to get its financial support,
people familiar with the matter say.

Such a hardening of approach would keep ECB funding flowing
to Europe’s most important lenders but compel laggards to beef
up their capital buffers, prod national central banks to take on
the problem or even force some banks to go to the wall.

May 14, 2013

EU to start talks with Switzerland on bank secrecy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers gave the green light on Tuesday to start talks with Switzerland, Liechtenstein and three other countries on new rules for swapping bank account information, officials said.

The talks had long been opposed by EU members Luxembourg and Austria, which were seeking to defend their own bank secrecy rules, but on Tuesday their finance ministers dropped those objections.

May 14, 2013

Austria edges towards ending banking secrecy

BRUSSELS, May 14 (Reuters) – Austria edged closer to ending
bank secrecy for foreigners on Tuesday, bringing it into line
with the rest of the EU, saying it would not block talks between
the European Union and countries such as Switzerland over
sharing bank information.

Austria has been the last EU holdout on bank secrecy after
Luxembourg changed tack last month.

    • 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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