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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.

Regulatory Sandboxes and Innovation Hubs for FinTech

30-09-2020

The unprecedented leap and the disruption potential of the emerging technological developments in finance have challenged the existing institutional and regulatory arrangements in the financial sector. Jurisdictions across globe have adopted various initiatives to keep abreast of the rapid technological developments and to encourage the development of their FinTech ecosystems. This study examines the setting up of regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs as part of the overall strategies pursued ...

The unprecedented leap and the disruption potential of the emerging technological developments in finance have challenged the existing institutional and regulatory arrangements in the financial sector. Jurisdictions across globe have adopted various initiatives to keep abreast of the rapid technological developments and to encourage the development of their FinTech ecosystems. This study examines the setting up of regulatory sandboxes and innovation hubs as part of the overall strategies pursued by jurisdictions in response to the FinTech developments. This document was prepared by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON).

Developing a pandemic emergency purchase programme: Unconventional monetary policy to tackle the coronavirus crisis

18-09-2020

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union specifies the maintenance of price stability in the euro area as the primary objective of EU single monetary policy. Subject to that, it should also contribute to the achievement of the Union's objectives, which include 'full employment' and 'balanced economic growth'. Responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy is attributed to the Eurosystem, which carries out its tasks through a set of standard instruments referred to as the 'operational ...

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union specifies the maintenance of price stability in the euro area as the primary objective of EU single monetary policy. Subject to that, it should also contribute to the achievement of the Union's objectives, which include 'full employment' and 'balanced economic growth'. Responsibility for the conduct of monetary policy is attributed to the Eurosystem, which carries out its tasks through a set of standard instruments referred to as the 'operational framework'. To tackle the financial crisis, the Eurosystem has complemented its regular operations by implementing several non-standard monetary policy measures since 2009. The first strand of these measures had the primary objective of restoring the correct functioning of the monetary transmission mechanism by supporting certain distressed financial market segments, playing an important role in the conduct of monetary policy. A second strand of non-standard measures was aimed at sustaining prices and fostering economic growth by expanding the size of the Eurosystem balance sheet through massive purchases of eligible securities, including public debt instruments issued by euro-area countries. Net purchases were conducted between October 2014 and December 2018, after which the Eurosystem continued to simply reinvest repayments from maturing securities to maintain the size of cumulative net purchases at December 2018 levels. Due to prevailing conditions, however, in September 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council decided to recommence net purchases in November of the same year 'for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates'. The spread of the coronavirus in early 2020 has impaired growth prospects for the global and euro-area economies and made additional monetary stimulus necessary. In this context, the ECB has increased the size of existing asset purchase programmes, and launched a temporary, separate and additional pandemic emergency purchase programme (PEPP). This is an updated edition of a briefing published in April 2020.

Digital finance: Emerging risks in crypto-assets – Regulatory and supervisory challenges in the area of financial services, institutions and markets

17-09-2020

The rapid growth of digital finance and crypto-assets has raised questions about the appropriate regulatory perimeter and the ability of the existing regulatory architecture to adapt to changing conditions. In this study, we evaluate the impact in terms of benefits and in terms of risk reduction that the adoption of an EU legislative initiative on a framework for crypto-assets, on cyber-resilience and on a data strategy would bring.

The rapid growth of digital finance and crypto-assets has raised questions about the appropriate regulatory perimeter and the ability of the existing regulatory architecture to adapt to changing conditions. In this study, we evaluate the impact in terms of benefits and in terms of risk reduction that the adoption of an EU legislative initiative on a framework for crypto-assets, on cyber-resilience and on a data strategy would bring.

Sustainable finance – EU taxonomy: A framework to facilitate sustainable investment

27-07-2020

In March 2018, the European Commission presented an action plan on sustainable finance, in order to facilitate investments in sustainable projects and assets across the EU. In May 2018, the Commission put forward a package of three proposals, including measures to create a sustainable taxonomy for the EU; provide clarity on how environmental, social and governance factors can be taken into account for investment decisions; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. The first proposal focuses on establishing ...

In March 2018, the European Commission presented an action plan on sustainable finance, in order to facilitate investments in sustainable projects and assets across the EU. In May 2018, the Commission put forward a package of three proposals, including measures to create a sustainable taxonomy for the EU; provide clarity on how environmental, social and governance factors can be taken into account for investment decisions; and establish low-carbon benchmarks. The first proposal focuses on establishing a common language for sustainable finance (e.g. a unified EU classification system, or taxonomy) through a framework of uniform criteria, as a way to determine whether a given economic activity is environmentally sustainable. On 11 March 2019, the ECON-ENVI joint committee adopted a report on the Commission proposal, calling for a number of changes. On 28 March 2019, the Parliament adopted its position at first reading. After interinstitutional negotiations, on 17 June 2020, the Parliament adopted the compromise text at second reading. The final act was published in the Official Journal on 22 June, and applies as of 12 July although certain provisions apply only as of January 2022 or January 2023. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Global Trends in Inflation: Are Central Banks Barking up the Wrong Tree?

16-09-2019

The ECB will not be able to achieve its inflation target over the foreseeable future. Further expansionary measures will have at most a modest impact on financial market conditions and even less on overall demand. Moreover, the impact of any demand stimulus on inflation is highly uncertain. The reasons for low inflation persistence despite tight labour markets almost everywhere are not fully understood. It is a global phenomenon, but not necessarily due to globalisation. One global factor seems ...

The ECB will not be able to achieve its inflation target over the foreseeable future. Further expansionary measures will have at most a modest impact on financial market conditions and even less on overall demand. Moreover, the impact of any demand stimulus on inflation is highly uncertain. The reasons for low inflation persistence despite tight labour markets almost everywhere are not fully understood. It is a global phenomenon, but not necessarily due to globalisation. One global factor seems beyond dispute, namely a fall in global equilibrium real interests. However, different views of how the economy operates lead to very different views how central banks should react to this phenomenon. There is little evidence that cooperation between central banks would have a significant impact on their (limited) ability to achieve their inflation targets.

Išorės autorius

Daniel Gros

Level-2 measures under the new Securitisation framework

29-08-2018

This briefing focuses on the state of play of the implementing measures under the new Securitisation Regulation (EU) 2017/2402 and the amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2401 on the treatment of regulatory capital requirements for credit institutions that originate, sponsor or invest in securitisations. Items for discussion include the draft measures that have been prepared by the European Supervisory Agencies, and those currently under preparation, including – for the European Securities and Markets ...

This briefing focuses on the state of play of the implementing measures under the new Securitisation Regulation (EU) 2017/2402 and the amending Regulation (EU) 2017/2401 on the treatment of regulatory capital requirements for credit institutions that originate, sponsor or invest in securitisations. Items for discussion include the draft measures that have been prepared by the European Supervisory Agencies, and those currently under preparation, including – for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – technical standards on information in the STS notification and information to be provided in the application for the authorisation of a third party verifying STS compliance, and – for the European Banking Authority (EBA) – on the homogeneity of asset classes and on risk retention.

The effects and risks of ECB collateral framework changes

16-07-2018

During the crisis, the ECB modified its collateral framework to face increased liquidity needs of commercial banks. This has taken two forms: the minimum required rating for different classes of assets has been reduced and the haircut associated to these assets has evolved conditional on the default risks of these assets. The benefits in terms of cushioning a liquidity crisis and enhancing monetary policy transmission have most probably exceeded the costs in terms of riskier central bank balance ...

During the crisis, the ECB modified its collateral framework to face increased liquidity needs of commercial banks. This has taken two forms: the minimum required rating for different classes of assets has been reduced and the haircut associated to these assets has evolved conditional on the default risks of these assets. The benefits in terms of cushioning a liquidity crisis and enhancing monetary policy transmission have most probably exceeded the costs in terms of riskier central bank balance sheet and potential capital losses. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

Išorės autorius

Christophe BLOT, Jérôme CREEL, Paul HUBERT (Sciences Po – OFCE)

ECB non-standard-policies and collateral constraints

16-07-2018

Collateral constitutes an indispensable lubricant for the financial system. Government bonds constitute the most important source of collateral, for use in inter-bank and repo transactions. But, the vast bond buying program of the ECB in the context of the Public Sector Purchase Programme has not led to any collateral scarcity. Banks still hold very large amounts of sovereign bonds and they have ample other collateral should they want to borrow more from the ECB for ‘standard’ monetary policy operations ...

Collateral constitutes an indispensable lubricant for the financial system. Government bonds constitute the most important source of collateral, for use in inter-bank and repo transactions. But, the vast bond buying program of the ECB in the context of the Public Sector Purchase Programme has not led to any collateral scarcity. Banks still hold very large amounts of sovereign bonds and they have ample other collateral should they want to borrow more from the ECB for ‘standard’ monetary policy operations. Banks tend to use less liquid assets as collateral with the ECB, but this does not mean necessarily more risk for the ECB for which liquidity is not important. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Išorės autorius

Daniel GROS, Willem Pieter de Groen (CEPS)

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