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Review of the Benchmark Regulation

06-10-2020

The European Commission's proposal to amend the existing Benchmark Regulation (BMR) aims to address the expected cessation of the widely used LIBOR critical benchmark, as the BMR does not provide mechanisms to manage the consequences of the cessation of such critical benchmarks. The BMR would be amended also to ensure that European Union banks and companies can continue using hedging tools against the volatility of currencies that are not freely convertible into their base currency after the expiry ...

The European Commission's proposal to amend the existing Benchmark Regulation (BMR) aims to address the expected cessation of the widely used LIBOR critical benchmark, as the BMR does not provide mechanisms to manage the consequences of the cessation of such critical benchmarks. The BMR would be amended also to ensure that European Union banks and companies can continue using hedging tools against the volatility of currencies that are not freely convertible into their base currency after the expiry of the transitional period at the end of 2021. The initiative is part of measures contributing to a capital markets union and an economy that works for people. The initial appraisal – which provides an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the proposal – finds that the IA is underpinned by sound and recent data and extensive stakeholder consultations. The problem definition, objectives and policy options are clearly linked.

Review of the Benchmark Regulation

01-10-2020

On 27 July 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced its resolution to phase out the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) by the end of 2021. As supervisor of the LIBOR, the FCA wanted to allow for a smooth transition to alternative reference rates of this widely used benchmark. On 24 July 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the Benchmarks, Regulation. The most important part of this proposal is to regulate the replacement rate of a benchmark in cessation (in ...

On 27 July 2017, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced its resolution to phase out the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) by the end of 2021. As supervisor of the LIBOR, the FCA wanted to allow for a smooth transition to alternative reference rates of this widely used benchmark. On 24 July 2020, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend the Benchmarks, Regulation. The most important part of this proposal is to regulate the replacement rate of a benchmark in cessation (in this case: LIBOR) and to avoid a legal vacuum. This amendment would empower the European Commission to designate, by an implementing act, a statutory replacement rate to replace the reference to the benchmark in cessation, if this cessation may result in significant disruption of financial markets in the Union.

Update on recent banking developments

29-09-2020

This briefing gives an update on recent events and developments in the Banking Union, based on publicly available information. The following topics are specifically addressed in the first section: banking statistics, non-performing loans, Wirecard, and the equivalence regime in financial services., The second section of this briefing gives a state-of-play on the Commission’s work programme on some financial services: Green Finance Strategy, Fintech and digital currencies, the COVID-19 financial ...

This briefing gives an update on recent events and developments in the Banking Union, based on publicly available information. The following topics are specifically addressed in the first section: banking statistics, non-performing loans, Wirecard, and the equivalence regime in financial services., The second section of this briefing gives a state-of-play on the Commission’s work programme on some financial services: Green Finance Strategy, Fintech and digital currencies, the COVID-19 financial services package, Anti-money laundering framework, and the Capital Market Union.

Impact investing in the framework of business and human rights

31-07-2020

Impact investments are an emerging sustainable investment strategy and represent a small and medium enterprise-led approach to development. Impact investments are executed only when a positive financial return can be achieved alongside a measurable positive impact on an individual or societal level. Impact investors thus go beyond more established sustainable investment strategies such as exclusion or integration by explicitly aiming at impact, investing in business models that directly address social ...

Impact investments are an emerging sustainable investment strategy and represent a small and medium enterprise-led approach to development. Impact investments are executed only when a positive financial return can be achieved alongside a measurable positive impact on an individual or societal level. Impact investors thus go beyond more established sustainable investment strategies such as exclusion or integration by explicitly aiming at impact, investing in business models that directly address social issues. Most impact investment funds invest in areas such as healthcare, education or employment and thus improve the situation of the target group. At the same time, however, there is no explicit human rights perspective integrated into the investment process yet. Given the rather small scale of investments which is usually in the range of EUR 200 000 to EUR 5 million per transaction, unintended negative consequences can occur, if only to a very limited extent. This in-depth analysis discusses the impact investing industry in the context of sustainable finance and analyses central aspects of the concept such as financing instruments, the impact measurement process or the impact logic of the investors. The analysis also discusses the limitations impact investing faces such as commercial boundaries of business models, and illustrates modified concepts to mitigate these challenges which are summarised as social finance.

Údar seachtarach

Dr. Barbara SCHECK, Dr. Wolfgang SPIESS-KNAFL.

CRR/CRD: The delegated act on Market Risk under CRR and other forthcoming delegated act in banking

19-02-2020

This first ECON scrutiny session continues the ECON’s discussions on CRD/CRR during the previous legislature and covers in particular the delegated act on market risk (C(2019) 9068). In addition, two forthcoming regulatory technical standards (RTS) are discussed, namely the RTS on mapping of derivative transactions on which the EBA has finalised its draft (EBA-RTS-2019-02), and the RTS on criteria to define managerial responsibility and control functions on which the EBA has started a consultation ...

This first ECON scrutiny session continues the ECON’s discussions on CRD/CRR during the previous legislature and covers in particular the delegated act on market risk (C(2019) 9068). In addition, two forthcoming regulatory technical standards (RTS) are discussed, namely the RTS on mapping of derivative transactions on which the EBA has finalised its draft (EBA-RTS-2019-02), and the RTS on criteria to define managerial responsibility and control functions on which the EBA has started a consultation (EBA/CP/2019/16).

Covered bonds – Issue and supervision, exposures

24-01-2020

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. Parliament voted in plenary on 18 April 2019 to adopt the texts agreed in trilogue. After linguistic corrections, Parliament approved corrigenda and the two acts were signed on 27 November 2019. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Prudential requirements and supervision of investment firms

15-01-2020

Investment firms play an important role in capital markets, facilitating savings and investment flows across the EU. However, the current EU rules are seen as fragmented, overly complex, inconsistently applied and often a poor fit for the actual risks taken by the various types of investment firms. The Commission proposed a new regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms and a new directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms. These proposals update the framework for ...

Investment firms play an important role in capital markets, facilitating savings and investment flows across the EU. However, the current EU rules are seen as fragmented, overly complex, inconsistently applied and often a poor fit for the actual risks taken by the various types of investment firms. The Commission proposed a new regulation on the prudential requirements of investment firms and a new directive on the prudential supervision of investment firms. These proposals update the framework for investment firms, making it more effective and more closely calibrated to the size and nature of the various investment firms and their risks. Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) agreed its report and negotiating mandate on 24 September 2018. On 20 March 2019, provisional agreements were reached by Parliament and Council negotiators. Parliament adopted the texts at first reading on 16 April 2019. Following linguistic corrections, corrigenda were endorsed by Parliament in October, and the regulation and directive were adopted by the Council then signed into law on 27 November. Both will apply in full from 26 June 2021. Second edition of a briefing originally drafted by David Eatock. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Cross-border distribution of investment funds

29-07-2019

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission put forward two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning ...

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission put forward two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning national requirements for marketing funds and regulatory fees and harmonising the process and requirements for the verification of marketing material by national competent authorities, and the other for a directive harmonising the conditions under which investment funds may exit a national market and allowing European asset managers to engage in pre-marketing activities. Parliament and Council approved the texts agreed in trilogue on 16 April and 14 June 2019 respectively. The final acts were published on 12 July 2019. The directive’s provisions shall apply from 2 August 2021, and the regulation’s from August 2019, with some exceptions. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Amending the bank resolution framework – BRRD and SRMR

28-06-2019

In May 2019, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the proposals amending the EU legislative framework on bank resolution, consisting of the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive, and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation. Resolution is the restructuring of a bank which is failing or likely to fail, aiming at safeguarding continuity of the bank's critical functions, preserving financial stability and minimising rescue costs to taxpayers. The adopted amendments incorporate into ...

In May 2019, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the proposals amending the EU legislative framework on bank resolution, consisting of the Banking Recovery and Resolution Directive, and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation. Resolution is the restructuring of a bank which is failing or likely to fail, aiming at safeguarding continuity of the bank's critical functions, preserving financial stability and minimising rescue costs to taxpayers. The adopted amendments incorporate into EU law the Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity standard, set at international level to improve large financial institutions' capacity to absorb losses and recapitalise in case they are placed in resolution. The new legislative texts were published in the Official Journal on 7 June 2019, and come fully into force on 28 December 2020.

Regulation of OTC derivatives: Amending the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)

28-06-2019

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the 'over-the-counter' (OTC) derivatives market in the 2007-2008 period. In May 2017, after carrying out an extensive assessment of EMIR, the Commission proposed a regulation amending and simplifying it in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance ...

The European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR – Regulation (EU) No 648/2012), adopted in 2012, forms part of the European regulatory response to the financial crisis, and specifically addresses the problems observed in the functioning of the 'over-the-counter' (OTC) derivatives market in the 2007-2008 period. In May 2017, after carrying out an extensive assessment of EMIR, the Commission proposed a regulation amending and simplifying it in the context of its Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT) programme, to address disproportionate compliance costs, transparency issues and insufficient access to clearing for certain counterparties. A provisional agreement was reached in trilogue on 5 February 2019. Parliament voted to approve that agreement on 18 April 2019 in plenary session and the Council subsequently adopted it on 14 May. The new regulation comes into force on 17 June 2019. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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