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…

As we approach the home stretch of the ‘Juncker’ mandate, the European Commission last week seized what was widely seen as one of its final opportunities to put forward new legislative proposals in sufficient time for them to be signed off before elections in 2019. The EU’s executive may have realised just in time that the pace of…

In the past few days, French and German leaders have met on several occasions to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the “Elysée Treaty”, the first bilateral cooperation agreement between the two countries since the end of WW2. Although modern France and Germany differ completely from the countries led by President Charles de Gaulle and German…

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…

On November 27, the European Commission (EC) endorsed the much awaited Regulatory Technical Standard (RTS) on strong customer authentication (SCA) and  secure communication of the Payment Services Directive (PSD), introducing a novelty to the process, the introduction of an exemption to the so-called “fallback mechanism”.  What does this mean however, and how did we get…

Data collated by the University of Cambridge shows that year-on-year growth in the provision of alternative finance – predominantly crowdfunding – has been running at an impressive pace within the EU. To illustrate, since 2014 it grew by 92% to reach a value of €5.4 billion in 2015. If this is indeed the case one…