European Union

ING Bank installs “whiteboard in the sky”

Dutch bank ING has installed an enterprise data sharing solution for its fixed income traders in Amsterdam , which the bank’s head of fixed income trading likened to a “whiteboard in the sky”.

ESMA begins consultation on MiFID II technical standards

The European Securities and Markets Authority has launched a consultation on the implementation of MiFID II, the long-awaited legislation from the European Commission which was recently approved by the European Parliament. The consultation seeks to translate the principles agreed in the draft text into more technical standards which will be directly implemented across the 28 member countries of the EU.

Swedbank begins Baltic ATM revamp

Swedish regional bank Swedbank is planning to roll out new ATM applications for 206 branches across the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The company will also upgrade more than 150 of its ATMs as part of a new multi-channel banking strategy.

MiFID II faces a tough road ahead

Despite last month’s European Parliament vote, MiFID II will continue to be dogged by contentious issues and political infighting between member states ahead of the European elections on 22 May, senior financial industry observers have told Banking Technology.

Swift Innotribe Startup Challenge names European finalists

Swift’s Innotribe Startup Challenge has named the five European finalists for its annual competition, which seeks to find the best new companies in financial services and bring them to compete in the final at Sibos Boston in October.

The looming spectre of a Financial Transaction Tax

The introduction of a financial transaction tax could mean London losing a swathe of banking business to financial centres with a lighter regulatory regime, such as Hong Kong or Singapore not to mention the logistical and technical challenges for banks.

If T2S is the answer, what’s the question?

The purpose of the European Central Bank’s T2S project is ill-defined and taking so long to deliver that it is being pushed aside by other projects according to speakers at the Swift Business Forum in London.

Trade reporting uncertainty raises “multiple problems”

Nearly three months after the European Commission’s 12 February deadline for trade reporting, market participants are still not ready to report their derivative trades and serious problems remain with understanding the rules.

European Parliament passes “sensible” MiFID II

The European Parliament has approved MiFID II, bringing to a close the political debate over the future of Europe’s trading infrastructure and ushering in a period of focus on finer technical details. The final vote will reflect a much more sensible approach than many had feared, according to Anne Plested, head of regulation change at trading technology specialist Fidessa.

Market data debate reignites at TradeTech

The European Commission’s MiFID II legislation has produced a disappointing outcome for those hoping for a consolidated tape of post-trade data, while exchanges continue to bear the brunt of participants’ anger over the price of market data.

MiFID II may cause pain in the dark

New EU regulations on market making and dark pools could be damaging investor choice and forcing participants to make decisions that are not in their best interests.

Algo tagging: where’s the logic in that?

When the requirement brought about by the German high frequency trading act to tag algorithms comes into force this month, market participants may well feel hamstrung by the complexity of the regime – and some might wonder whether this requirement goes one step too far …

Europe needs more competition, not more exchanges …

Europe doesn’t need more trading venues – instead, it needs more innovation, more fairness, more competition and better enforcement, according to panellists speaking at the Trade Tech conference in Paris.

EU financial markets – from fragmentation to harmony?

Consolidation of market infrastructure in Europe will continue, as firms choose post-trade service providers that meet their needs in terms of cost-effectiveness or value-added services. However, some of the real cost issues in Europe are still to be addressed.

Redesigning the retail bank, the Fidor way

Banks must take note of the way that technology is changing how customers interact with the world around them and develop products and services that address their needs rather than the banks’.

You think SEPA is over? Think again

Banks should be wary of jumping the gun and assuming that SEPA implementation is a done deal. Far from being over, the task of learning to live with SEPA is just beginning.

Vodafone launches M-Pesa in Romania

Mobile money service M-Pesa has launched in Romania, bringing an idea hugely successful in Kenya to a European Union member state for the first time.

Transparency: the new wonder drug?

While transparency may be seen as a new wonder drug that will cure all the industry’s ills, it does not come without side effects, so it was refreshing to see ESMA promoting a collaborative approach with the industry in defining the details of how MiFID II and MiFIR are implemented.

SIA and Orange champion mobile POS in Europe

Orange Business Services and technology infrastructure provider SIA have done a deal aimed at encouraging European banks and merchants to manage more payments via mobile point of sale terminals.

EBA Clearing reports uptick in SEPA payments

EBA Clearing has reported that market participants are gradually adapting to SEPA, with peak day volumes on its Step2 clearing platform above 100 million SEPA credit transfers and SEPA direct debits.

ESMA looks for guidance on CSD technical standards

European securities regulator ESMA has published a discussion paper asking for public feedback on the technical standards that should be used for CSDs, including registration, settlement discipline, confirmation rules, acceptance or rejection of terms, as well as access to CSDs by other CSDs and market participants.

Outfoxing the fixed income fracas

Fixed income is a bit like the tortoise of Aesop’s fables, while equities is unquestionably the rambunctious hare. While equities finished the race towards an agency trading model many years ago, fixed income is just plodding onto the starting lines now. But a little outsourcing may provide the rocket boost the industry needs to push ahead, according to Carl James, managing director of dealing services UK at BNP Paribas.

Custodian bank trio cut T2S asset servicing deal with Clearstream

Post-trade services institutions Clearstream, BNP Paribas Securities Services, Intesa Sanpaolo and BBVA have formed a tie-up in Europe, which they say is aimed at better asset servicing n Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain under the ECB’s forthcoming T2S project.

SIX Swiss Group prepares for T+2 settlement

Switzerland’s SIX Group will move to T+2 settlement starting on 6 October 2014, bringing Switzerland into line with the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Russia.

CaixaBank embraces Google Glass augmented reality

Spain’s CaixaBank has developed an application for Google Glass, the futuristic and controversial new technology that is set to bring augmented reality to the masses when it launches later this year.

MyBank Mandate SEPA direct debit scheme gears up for launch

EBA Clearing, the European payment services provider owned by 62 European banks, has reported that its MyBank Mandate pilot scheme, which allows online merchants, public institutions and utility companies in Europe to collect SEPA direct debits online, has passed the first and second phases of testing before it launches later this year.

Greece’s derivatives market adopts LSE reporting service

Greece’s Hellenic Exchanges Group, which runs the Athens Stock Exchange and Athens Derivatives Exchange, has chosen to buy services from the London Stock Exchange to help it cope with tough new European trade reporting rules.

EMIR trade reporting “untrustworthy, incomplete and flawed”

Europe’s trade repositories have reported a largely smooth transition, following the deadline under EMIR on 12 February – but behind the scenes deep questions remain about the viability of the European Commission’s ambitious derivatives reform.

Orange and Visa Europe launch Orange mobile wallet in France

Orange and Visa Europe have launched a new mobile wallet service called Orange cash in the French cities of Caen and Strasbourg, making Orange the first mobile network operator in France to offer mobile contactless payments to its customers.

Euronext launches foreign open-ended funds in Paris

European exchange group Euronext is planning to begin trading active open-end funds on its Paris market following a legislative decree in France allowing the funds to be traded on exchanges or MTFs.

Final countdown to EMIR underway

A week before the final reporting deadline for the European Commission’s EMIR regulation, tech firms are making a last push to get OTC trade reporting up and running.

SIX Financial Information gets ready for FATCA

Switzerland’s SIX Financial Information has begun delivering FATCA tax information to the US Inland Revenue Service, ahead of the controversial extraterritorial tax’s reporting deadline in July.