Correspondent, Brussels
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Nov 26, 2012

Europe set to delay bank capital rules as U.S. row simmers

BRUSSELS, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Europe is preparing to follow
the United States in delaying the introduction of stricter rules
on bank capital, while it lobbies for a rethink of the U.S.
stance, EU sources said.

The delay could push back the start of global rules in
Europe, known as Basel III, by about six months, and that could
be even longer if diplomats and lawmakers fail to break a
deadlock on a law meant to be phased in from the start of 2013.

Nov 23, 2012

Mersch takes ECB executive board job despite gender row

BRUSSELS, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch won a
top post at the European Central Bank on Friday after months of
dispute with lawmakers at the European Parliament who objected
to his appointment because of a lack of women in the bank’s
senior ranks.

The decision by European leaders to press ahead with Mersch
could strain their relations with the European Parliament,
potentially hampering agreement on reforms needed to resolve the
bloc’s debt and banking crises and in which lawmakers have a
say.

Nov 20, 2012

Investor group warns against new Greek debt restructuring

BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – A tentative plan to further
restructure Greek bonds owned by private investors risks
undermining the euro zone’s credibility, a senior bank industry
representative said on Tuesday.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), which helped
coordinate a large writedown of Greek bonds owned by banks and
pension funds earlier this year, said any further effort to have
the private sector carry the can would be taken badly and could
wreck Athens’ chances of raising money from the markets in the
future.

Nov 19, 2012

Shadow banking hits $67 trillion globally: task force

BRUSSELS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The shadow banking system – blamed for aggravating the financial crisis – grew to a new high of $67 trillion globally last year, a top regulatory group said, calling for tighter control of the sector.

A report by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on Sunday appeared to confirm fears among policymakers that the so-called shadow banking system of non-bank intermediaries continues to harbour risks to the financial system.

Nov 19, 2012

EU considers bowing to pressure to weaken ECB bank policing

BRUSSELS, Nov 19 (Reuters) – European Union countries will
consider bending to German and British demands to soften the
power of the ECB in supervising banks to get agreement on
banking union, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

After three years of piecemeal crisis-fighting, European
countries are attempting to agree on a banking union to lay a
cornerstone of wider economic integration and protect the euro.

Nov 19, 2012

ECB and Bundesbank at odds over bank supervision clout

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT, Nov 19 (Reuters) – The European Central
Bank on Monday said that it should have the power to supervise
all lenders in a banking union, a demand the president of
Germany’s influential Bundesbank was quick to temper.

After three years of piecemeal crisis-fighting, European
countries are attempting to agree on a banking union to lay a
cornerstone of wider economic integration and protect the euro.

Nov 18, 2012

Task force says global shadow banking hits $67 trillion

BRUSSELS, Nov 18 (Reuters) – The system of so-called “shadow
banking,” blamed by some for aggravating the global financial
crisis, grew to a new high of $67 trillion globally last year, a
top regulatory group said, calling for tighter control of the
sector.

A report by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) on Sunday
appeared to confirm fears among policymakers that shadow banking
is set to thrive, beyond the reach of a regulatory net
tightening around traditional banks and banking activities.

Nov 13, 2012

Divisions overshadow Europe’s plan to control banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Divisions in Europe over a new regime to supervise banks overshadowed fresh attempts by EU finance ministers on Tuesday to agree a centrepiece reform that some officials fear could now unravel.

So far, countries in the euro zone have attempted to contain the financial crisis with piecemeal measures. The banking union would be a cornerstone of wider economic union and the first concerted attempt to integrate the bloc’s response to problem lenders to win back confidence.

Nov 13, 2012

Europe seeks to break logjam over regime to control banks

BRUSSELS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – EU finance ministers will seek
on Tuesday to break an impasse over a new regime to supervise
banks, but with much of the plan contested and time running
short to agree, the European Union risks seeing this centrepiece
reform unravel.

So far, countries in the euro zone have attempted to contain
the financial crisis with piecemeal measures. The banking union
is the first concerted attempt to integrate the bloc’s response
to problem lenders to win back confidence.

Nov 12, 2012

IIF warns of risk from delaying Greek aid payments

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The longer it takes to agree further aid for Athens, the more damage is done to the Greek economy, a senior bank industry representative has warned, flagging a growing sense of alarm about a renewed threat of default.

“The longer you take over these negotiations about paying financial aid, the longer you starve the economy of the required liquidity,” said Hung Tran, deputy managing director of the Institute of International Finance, a global bank lobby group.

    • 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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