European Union


Derivatives exchanges slam regulators over open clearing

Regulators should not define how markets are structured when it comes to innovation and open access to clearing. Instead, it should be left up to the market to define how services are provided, according to speakers at the IDX FIA Europe conference in Europe this week.

MiFID II open access to CCPs called into question

As the European Commission’s MiFID II legislation moved towards implementation of technical standards, some of Europe’s national regulators are seriously worried that mandatory open access to CCPs may not be such a good idea. Concerns about the ability to manage risk and the ability to effectively handle data were highlighted by speakers at the IDX FIA conference in London yesterday.

CFTC praises global regulatory harmonisation – just don’t expect uniformity

Global regulators are struggling to find the balance between recognising each other’s existence and learning to harmonise and coordinate their activities, and protecting domestic national economic stability. But people who can’t accept that there will be some differences in regulation between Asia, Europe and the US are not realistic, according to Timothy Massad, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

EMIR ‘significantly at risk’ of failure warns FIA Europe

Industry association FIA Europe is calling on regulators to make changes to derivatives laws, including amendments to Basel III and MiFIR, as well as EMIR reporting obligations. The association argues that without the changes it is advocating, the viability of some of the new rules will be at risk.

EU Payment Services Directive 2: counting the costs and benefits

EU lawmakers reached a political consensus last week on a proposal for a new EU Payment Services Directive (PSD2). This follows several months of negotiations between European Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Ministers and marks a significant step in regulatory development within the payments market

Banks face “mad rush” to prepare for MiFIR

Financial institutions will need to maintain records, report transactions and supply reference data under the European Commission’s forthcoming MiFIR regulation. But those who expect plenty of time for implementation and no regulatory conflicts are likely to be disappointed, according to a new report by analyst firm Aite.

Swift Business Forum panel slams EU trade reporting rules

New trade reporting requirements that would require banks and other capital markets participants to demonstrate best execution through data will impose massive costs and will not provide an equal level of benefit, according to senior executives speaking at the Swift Business Forum in London this week.

EC calls time on the broker crossing network – so what happens now?

Broker crossing networks will be heavily affected by upcoming European Commission rules on dark trading. But with 18 months to go until implementation, uncertainty still unnerves brokers and asset managers – prompting some market participants to re-examine whether they want to trade at all.

MiFID II will prevent traders doing their job, TradeTech delegates told

The European Commission’s MiFID II legislation is a poorly thought-out, arbitrary and unclear piece of rulemaking that will prevent traders from being able to do their job. Worse still, a lack of clarity over the final details will inflict uncertainty and cost on market participants from now until 2017, according to delegates at TradeTech Paris this week.

Specialisation “resonates” with traders as competition pressures mount

Banks and asset managers are being forced to learn to live in a world of greater specialisation, as unbundling of research and execution drives greater competitive pressure on costs. That is probably a good thing – but it will take the buy-side and the sell side in different directions, according to senior executives speaking at the TradeTech conference in Paris this week.

Boat to launch APA reporting service for MiFID II transparency

Boat Services, the OTC trade reporting service provider owned by technology vendor Cinnober, plans to introduce a MiFID II compliance solution, offering publication services for all instrument classes. It will apply for authorisation by the FCA in the UK when Approved Publication Arrangement registration is available in 2016.

Finland’s Holvi bank tackles online-only identity verification

Finnish online-only bank Holvi has partnered with GBGroup, an identity intelligence specialist, as part of a drive to ensure that all its customers are verified while reducing the time this process takes. Holvi does not operate any branches, and as such relies on other methods to confirm the identity of its customers.

‘Right to a bank account’ poses challenge for EU banks

The European Parliament’s Payment Accounts Directive creates a right to a basic bank account, which must be enshrined in national law across Europe by September 2016. But the rules represent a challenge to banks’ ability to manage their business – one that speaks to the heart of the current regulatory debate, according to delegates at the Payments International conference in London this week.

ABN Amro Clearing joins MEFFPower

ABN Amro Clearing will offer clearing and settlement of trades at MEFFPower, cleared by BME Clearing. The Spanish Power derivatives market is one of the top five markets in Europe and has experienced great growth in the past decade. The maturities offered by ABN Amro Clearing as swaps and futures will be: annual, quarter, months, weeks, week-ends and […]

ESMA trade reporting standards “could decide” future of markets

The European Securities and Markets Association is consulting financial institutions on which messaging protocol and data formats would be best for trade reporting under MiFIR. As the timeframe for reporting comes ever closer to real-time, the consequences could be serious.

Doubts rankle as European Commission races towards MiFID II deadline

European regulator ESMA is preparing to issue hundreds of pages of MiFID II cost-benefit analysis and Q&A material between now and July – but market participants are concerned about unresolved issues and rushed implementation as the deadline draws ever closer.

EBRD sets sights on Romania as reforms gather pace

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Bucharest Stock Exchange are seeking to attract international investors to the Romanian stock market, following the launch of an ambitious government reform programme aimed at getting the country upgraded from frontier to emerging market status.

SNS Bank revamps treasury and risk as Basel reforms tighten grip

Dutch state-owned bank SNS is to upgrade its treasury and risk infrastructure using services from vendor SunGard. The bank wants to centralise its credit and market risk management, including initial margin and potential future exposure, in view of Basel requirements which oblige banks to adhere to higher standards of record keeping and transparency.

Payments Council picks Swift for SEPA Only services

The UK’s Payments Council has selected Swift to build the country’s new central infrastructure platform in preparation for the next phase of SEPA regulation in 2016, through the provision of an automated central infrastructure platform for collection and maintenance of UK-specific SEPA routing data.

New entrant Ipagoo targets businesses with pan-European current account

London-based Orwell Group, founded in 2005, has launched a pan-European current account called Ipagoo in the UK, France, Spain and Italy. The product aims to take on services provided by traditional banks, using open architecture software and promising consumers greater choice and less hassle.

Euroclear Finland begins major overhaul for T2S

Finland’s central securities depository Euroclear Finland has just completed the first stage of a major project to completely replace its securities processing infrastructure. The CSD says the move is part of its preparations for T2S, the European Central Bank project to harmonise Europe’s post trade infrastructure.

SIX to establish Swiss trade repository as Parliament discusses reform

Swiss post-trade specialist SIX Securities Services is planning to establish a central trade repository for derivatives transactions in Switzerland, using the London Stock Exchange’s UnaVista platform. The platform is being built to allow Swiss customers to report under the Swiss Financial Market Infrastructure Act, which is currently in parliamentary consultation.

Resurrected Financial Transaction Tax poses threat to EU markets

A renewed push by a group of 11 European countries could see a controversial Financial Transaction Tax introduced across the EU in less than 12 months, with harmful effects on securities markets and extraterritorial repercussions – even in countries which have not signed up, such as the UK.

Italian banks go global as Europe prepares for T2S

Italian banks are preparing for T2S, as Europe seeks to reform its cross-border trading infrastructure and bring down barriers between EU countries. The preparations are driving smaller regional banks to make deals with larger global banks as they prepare for implementation in June.

Iceland’s RB makes core banking system replacement

Iceland’s Reikninstofa Bankanna, which is jointly owned by the three main banks in Iceland, has opted for a full core bank replacement project which it says will help it to slash its costs and bring new services to the market more quickly.

Switzerland goes contactless with SIX Payment Services

Switzerland’s SIX Payment Services has begun distributing the country’s first contactless debit cards, through a partnership with local bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, based in Aargau. The project, which began in December, replaces the bank’s entire portfolio of 22,000 debit cards with dual interface V PAY cards that enable contactless and regular transactions.

ESMA: ‘crowdfunding would benefit from regulation’

The European Securities and Markets Authority says that crowdfunding platforms are incentivised to operate in a way that they fall outside existing regulations, which is holding back their growth and increasing risks for investors.

Euronext prepares for 2015 derivatives launch with LCH. Clearnet

Euronext is planning to launch a new service that would allow derivatives to be reported to Euronext and cleared by LCH. Clearnet. The new service will use the Tradexpress platform built by vendor Cinnober, and is due to go live in spring 2015.

The e-invoicing play for banks

The replacement of business processes based on paper documents with the exchange of information in electronic form is a highly beneficial global trend, and the competitiveness of Europe’s economic activity will benefit from this migration.

European Payments Council unveils SEPA rulebooks for 2015

The European Payments Council has set out new requirements under the Single Euro Payment Area Credit Transfer and Direct Debit schemes, including changes to the time cycle, business to business rulebooks and the process for SDD collection, following SEPA implementation in August.

“Woefully inadequate” CCPs could pose major systemic risk

Despite the G20 plans put in place since the financial crisis, CCPs are still vulnerable to unforeseen risks and could put the whole financial system in jeopardy in the event of a catastrophic default, according to senior financial services executives speaking in London today.

European banking industry under the competition and regulatory spotlight

It has been a busy week for the banking industry. The first big news was the publication of a comprehensive health check of 130 large European banks by the European Central Bank, which was commissioned in response to the sovereign debt crisis in the Eurozone. Brussels lauded the latest investigation as the most intense scrutiny that European banks have ever been put through.

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