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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 ...

The Commission has proposed a directive and a regulation to create a unified European framework for covered bonds. Parliament is due to vote in April on the texts agreed in interinstitutional negotiations.

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 ...

A framework for EU covered bonds

Briefing 18-05-2018

The Commission proposed a legislative framework for covered bonds. The supporting impact assessment (IA) provided a coherent problem analysis and the corresponding set of objectives. The impacts analysis focused mainly on the costs and benefits of enhancing the Capital Markets Union potential. However, the IA did not assess the options in terms of their proportionality and did not check the subsidiarity or proportionality of the regulatory options.

Securitisation refers to the process of packaging and converting loans into securities, which can then be sold to investors. In the context of its efforts to build a Capital Markets Union, the Commission has proposed a regulation which lays down common rules on securitisation, and provides a framework for simple, transparent and standardised (STS) securitisations. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary.

The new framework for 'simple, transparent, and standardised' (STS) securitisations has implications for the overall prudential framework for credit institutions and investment firms. The Commission has proposed to amend the existing Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) accordingly, to adjust risk retention profiles to reflect properly the specific features of STS securitisations. Parliament is due to vote on the proposal during the October II plenary session.

Prospectuses for investors

Briefing 10-05-2016

On 30 November 2015, the European Commission published a proposal for a regulation on prospectuses (legal documents that provide details about an investment offer in an easily analysable format) to replace Directive 2003/71/EC, as amended by Directives 2008/11/EC, 2010/73/EU and 2010/78/EU. The aims of the regulation are to contribute to further financial market integration and to improve investor protection in the European Union. The proposal broadens the scope of the legislation and introduces ...

This note gives an overview of the recent discussions relating to the clarification of the methodology for calculating the Maximum distributable Amount in banking supervision and the volatility on the market for banks contingent convertible bonds ("CoCo bonds").

Bail-in can potentially lead to enhanced market discipline and lower use of public finances only if its application is credible and stringent. This requires that the holders of bail-in able debt have the capacity of absorbing losses but also that the application of bail-in does is consistent with financial stability. Sophisticated investors have typically a larger financial capacity than unsophisticated investors but they are also more reactive to information and/or imposition of losses and are therefore ...

An important prerequisite for the efficiency of bail-in as a regulatory tool is that debt holders are able to bear the cost of a bail-in. Examining European banks’ subordinated debt we caution that households may be investors in bail-in able bonds. Since households do not fulfil the aforementioned prerequisite, we argue that European bank supervisors need to ensure that banks’ bail-in bonds are held by sophisticated investors. Existing EU market regulation insufficiently addresses mis-selling of ...