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Enabling SMEs' access to capital markets

09-04-2019

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed ...

Making it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access financing through public markets lies at the heart of the capital markets union – the plan to mobilise capital in Europe. Among the various reasons for going ahead with this union is the fact that existing requirements and listing costs in both regulated and multilateral trading venues continue to be disproportionate to the size and level of sophistication of SMEs. To further respond to this situation, the Commission has proposed adopting a regulation to address the administrative burden placed on SMEs when listing or issuing equity and bonds, with the aim to increase liquidity on SME growth markets. The latter are a new category of multilateral trading facilities, which was established under the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II. To this end, the proposal provides for targeted amendments to two key pieces of financial services legislation, namely the Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) and the Prospectus Regulation. Following interinstitutional negotiations the co-legislators reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 6 March 2019, and this is due to be voted in Parliament during the April II plenary session.

Covered bonds – Issue and supervision, exposures

25-02-2019

Covered bonds are debt securities issued by credit institutions and secured by a pool of mortgage loans or credit towards the public sector. They are characterised further by the double protection offered to bondholders, the segregation of assets in their cover pool, over-collateralisation, and their strict supervisory frameworks. Currently, their issuance is concentrated in five Member States. National regulatory regimes vary widely in terms of supervision and composition of the cover pool. Lastly ...

Covered bonds are debt securities issued by credit institutions and secured by a pool of mortgage loans or credit towards the public sector. They are characterised further by the double protection offered to bondholders, the segregation of assets in their cover pool, over-collateralisation, and their strict supervisory frameworks. Currently, their issuance is concentrated in five Member States. National regulatory regimes vary widely in terms of supervision and composition of the cover pool. Lastly, despite benefiting from preferential treatment under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR), they share no common definition, which can lead to different securities benefiting from this treatment. To remedy this, the Commission has adopted proposals for, on the one hand, a directive, which would lay down investor protection rules and provide common definitions, and on the other, a regulation, which would amend the CRR with regard to covered bond exposures. In November 2018, Parliament and Council both adopted their respective negotiating positions. The file is currently the subject of trilogue negotiations. Second edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Enabling sovereign bond-backed securities

05-12-2018

This briefing analyses the IA accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to enable market-led sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS). The problem definition and the objectives of the IA do not follow entirely the better regulation guidelines. Nevertheless, the policy options, including the baseline scenario, seem logical and pertinent, lacking, however, necessary specification and precision. The assessment focusses on direct effects on the euro-area sovereign bonds market, expecting ...

This briefing analyses the IA accompanying the legislative proposal of the Commission to enable market-led sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS). The problem definition and the objectives of the IA do not follow entirely the better regulation guidelines. Nevertheless, the policy options, including the baseline scenario, seem logical and pertinent, lacking, however, necessary specification and precision. The assessment focusses on direct effects on the euro-area sovereign bonds market, expecting no direct social or environmental impacts. The IA does not include the mandatory 12-week public consultation nor a comprehensive cost and benefit assessment of the initiative. It also omits, without explanation, a number of relevant issues, so that it seems like a missed opportunity to provide comprehensive and transparent support to evidence-based policy making.

Sovereign bond-backed securities: Risk diversification and reduction

13-09-2018

As a part of the European regulatory responses to the financial and sovereign debt crises, the European Commission has proposed a regulation on sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS), a new class of low-risk securities backed by a diversified pool of national government bonds. The proposal seeks to provide an enabling framework for a market-led development of SBBS, thus encouraging banks and investors to diversify their holdings of euro area bonds. The proposal is meant to address a weakness that ...

As a part of the European regulatory responses to the financial and sovereign debt crises, the European Commission has proposed a regulation on sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS), a new class of low-risk securities backed by a diversified pool of national government bonds. The proposal seeks to provide an enabling framework for a market-led development of SBBS, thus encouraging banks and investors to diversify their holdings of euro area bonds. The proposal is meant to address a weakness that appeared during the aforementioned crises, when banks' high exposure to their sovereigns' own debt, coupled with deteriorating creditworthiness of those sovereigns, led to balance sheet strains for banks. This in turn put pressure on government budgets, thus creating mutual contagion and financial instability. The procedure is currently at the initial stage in the European Parliament and the Council. First edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.