Following 18 months of negotiations the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) reached a long anticipated internal position, known as a ‘General Approach’ agreement last week on the Risk Reduction Measures (RRM) package. This package, when approved and applicable, implements into EU law a large part of the outstanding elements from the 2010 Basel III…

In what felt as an emotional day for the European Commission, it presented and launched its Sustainable Finance initiative at a conference attended by the who’s who of Brussels as well as leading European politicians. As further endorsement of the Commission’s vision, French President Emmanuel Macron delivered an impassioned speech fully supporting the initiative, going…

Over the festive season one or more relatives may well have mentioned a fantastical investment opportunity with returns too good to be true. Bitcoin has been a topic on everybody’s lips, if not any one of the other 1000+ virtual currencies or tokens currently available on exchange. Following Bitcoin’s and other virtual currencies’ meteoric rise…

The European Commission, Parliament and Council reached a much needed political agreement on the so-called ‘fast-track’ elements – IFRS 9, Large Exposures (LE) and Bank Creditor Hierarchy (BCH) – of the Risk Reduction Measures (RRM) package on 25 October. The political agreements saw the Parliament largely adopt the Council’s position across all files. On IFRS 9…

EU Member States’ experts on financial services policy will get back to the negotiating table in September to start substantive talks on the European Commission (EC) proposal to amend the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). This seeks to enhance the EU’s supervision of euro-denominated derivatives’ clearing in light of Brexit, potentially by bringing the bulk…

When the EU’s history is told, the years between 2017 and 2019 will be remembered largely for the period of Brexit negotiations. For the first time in the 60 years of European integration, a Member State will leave the EU. The impact of the UK’s departure will be felt on many policy issues, ranging from the single market to the…

The review of the Capital Requirements Regulation and Directive (CRR/CRD) at the end of 2016 promises to be one of the major deliverables of the Juncker 2014-2019 Commission in the financial services area. The review serves multiple purposes: apart from simply evaluating and improving the existing CRR I and CRD IV texts, it will also…

February brought ‘good news’ to the financial industry, with the Commission ultimately tabling a proposal that will delay its flagship piece of financial regulation, the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) and its accompanying Regulation (MiFIR), originally set to apply from 3 January 2017, into 2018. The warning signs have been apparent for some…

In September 2015, EU lawmakers will start informal negotiations on the revision of the Shareholders Rights Directive (SHRD). Having followed a rather protracted and chequered passage to Strasbourg, an amended text of the Commission’s proposal to combat “short-termism” in stock markets was approved by the European Parliament on 8 July, while its co-legislator, the Council,…