Financial services & capital markets > General policy
Attack to win games and defend to win trophies: safeguarding financial stability in the EU single market
“We have attacked through the overhaul of the financial framework of the last five years. Now we need to defend what we have achieved by remaining alert to new and potential risks. Adapt to changing circumstances. And play as a team to win the global competition”. Speech by Vice President Barnier at the Worshipful Company of World Traders, London.
“Application of the texts, implementation of reforms, continuing to adapt the existing framework: here are three key challenges in which your committee will play a key role, together with the Commission and the Council”. Speech by the Vice-President Barnier to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (structured dialogue ECON).
“We must ensure rules are applied in a consistent and coherent way. This is particularly true for the EU and the US”. Speech by Vice-President Barnier at the Eurofi Financial Forum, in Milan.
Langfristige Finanzierung für Infrastrukturvorhaben [Long-term investment for infrastructure] – Article
“We need new instruments that are better suited for long-term financing and especially for infrastructure projects”. Vice-President Barnier explains what the EU has done in this respect. Article by Michel Barnier, Börsen-Zeitung.
“The fight against all levels of excessive debt – by governments, households, businesses or the financial sector – was a major focus of this Commission’s mandate”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the IMF’s 14th Forum on managing public debt.
New rules to strengthen regulation and transparency of remuneration in banks and investment firms in the EU
Today, new EU rules to strengthen regulation and transparency of remuneration in banks and investment firms in the European Union have entered into force. The new rules relate to the identification of categories of staff whose professional activities have a material impact on an institution's risk profile (so-called ‘material risk takers’).
A new standard to allow social enterprises of all sizes to better measure and demonstrate their social impact and so help them in their discussions with partners, investors, and public sector funders has been published by the European Commission.
"The EU and the US agree on the overall objectives of sound and resilient banks and financial markets. But we have and will keep different regulatory procedures and frameworks. We need to do more to make these regulatory systems work together". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Washington.
With most financial reform measures now adopted, the European Commission has today published a first comprehensive review of the financial regulation agenda as a whole. "This review demonstrates that we have delivered what we set out to do: the financial regulation agenda is making the financial system more stable and responsible, working for the benefit of the economy and citizens across the EU", said Commissioner Barnier.
"Banking union is probably our biggest joint project since the euro itself and an asset of the first order to overcome the fragmentation of financial markets". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the joint ECB - European Commission conference on "Financial integration and stability in a new financial architecture."
The European Commission has adopted (16/04) an implementing technical standard (ITS) which harmonises the content and format of data to be reported by 8'000 European banks to their supervisors in order to comply with the Capital Requirements Regulation (575/2013) and Capital Requirements Directive (2013/36) .
“The economy is restarting, we have constructed a regulatory architecture to draw lessons from the crisis and protect taxpayers [...] We must now accelerate recovery, and for that you need fuel, it is necessary that businesses and consumers find credit to finance their projects”. Introductory remarks by Commissioner Barnier at the press conference on the informal ECOFIN meeting in Athens.
“Over the last four years, you have heard a lot about new rules, new structures. [...] We are nearing the end of the rule-making phase and entering a period of implementing and enforcing those rules”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the EUROFI High Level Seminar 2014.
The annual EU-Japan High Level Meeting on Financial Issues was held in Brussels today. This year’s meeting provided an important opportunity for senior officials from both sides to exchange views on the recent regulatory developments in the financial sector.
The European Commission has today adopted a package of measures to channel funds to the real economy, in particular to long-term investment. The package includes a communication on the long-term financing of the economy, a legislative proposal for new rules for occupational pension funds and a communication on crowdfunding.
Interview of Commissioner Barnier by Dimitrios Mitropoulos, Ta Nea
“Today is a momentous day for banking union. A memorable day for Europe’s financial sector. (...) Taxpayers will no longer foot the bill when banks make mistakes. We are ending the era of massive bail-outs”. Commissioner Barnier’s remarks at the ECOFIN Council press conference.
“I want to tell investors that it is time to look further forward, and to cease anxiously focusing on immediate events and instead invest in our future”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference of the Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) at the Committee of the Regions.
“We sometimes get so caught up in addressing what is wrong with Europe that we forget to underline what we do well”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Policy Centre Annual Conference “Debate on the State of the Union”.
“We have no interest in undermining the UK. No interest in threatening London’s place as the largest European financial centre. We want to strengthen and integrate the single market, not weaken it”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier, BBA Annual International Banking Conference.
“At the beginning of my term, we set ambitious targets to address the lessons learnt from the financial crisis. Three and a half years later, we are on track. (...) However, there is still some way to go”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament (ECON Structured Dialogue).
Five years after the collapse of Lehmans: what the EU has done to learn the lessons from the crisis, and what still needs to be done
On 15 September 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, bringing down the house of straw on which our financial system had been built. Five years on, we’re still not out of the woods. But we have done a lot to create the conditions in which Europe can grow once more. Commissioner Barnier explains what the EU has accomplished since 2008 to put the European financial sector back on its feet.
“There is no room for complacency: all G20 jurisdictions, including the EU, must remain committed to the timely, full and consistent implementation of agreed policies. Only then will we create a stable and integrated global financial system. Only then will we be able to prevent future crises”. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Eurofi Financial Forum, Vilnius.
"Germany's future lies in Europe. Not in a weaker Europe, but in a stronger European economic, monetary and political union. A union that will help us avoid a repeat of past crises – through better regulated financial markets". Speech by Commissioner Barnier for the opening of academic year, Centre for financial studies, Goethe University, Frankfurt.
"One year ahead of the end of the term, it is the time to outline a first assessment of our joint action to face the financial crisis. This is also the time to define the priorities for the rest of the year ... ". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.
What is the European Commission doing to fight against organised crime and corruption in the single market?
"Tax evasion, money laundering, corruption, counterfeiting, piracy, all threaten the integrity of the single market and the confidence of our citizens". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Parliament's special commission on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering.
The European Commission has today adopted a Green Paper that launches a three-month public consultation on how to foster the supply of long-term financing and how to improve and diversify the system of financial intermediation for long-term investment in Europe. The financial crisis has affected the ability of the financial sector in Europe to channel savings to long-term investment. Responses to the consultation will help the Commission determine what can be done to overcome the barriers to long-term financing.
“It is the responsibility of political leaders to convince people that being European is not simply an option but a necessity”. Interview with Michel Barnier, by C. Barbier, L’Express.
On Monday 19 November the European Commission hosted a high level one-day conference on the progress underway to ensure the safety and stability of the EU financial sector, to reinforce the Single Market, and to help promote economic growth. Commissioner Barnier opened the event.
"How can we ensure that Europe's financial centres are able to rise to today's challenges?" Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Financial Centre Roundtable.
"The decisions we have to make are historical: they involve the future of the European project. We have to regain the confidence not only of markets and institutional investors, but also of small investors and savers". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Economic and Monetary Affairs Commission of the European Parliament (structured dialogue).
"While other parts of the world were moving steadily towards recovery, in the summer of 2011 the euro zone was hit by the sovereign debt crisis. This latest crisis is related to the previous crises (financial, then economic and social), which required significant recovery plans from European governments." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the 18th International Economic Forum of the Americas, Montreal.
"Citizens throughout the EU are right now asking themselves that same question. Do we need more Europe? Or less? My personal conviction is that we are and remain stronger together". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) Conference, Copenhagen.
Speech by Commissioner Barnier, joint conference of the European Central Bank and the European Commission: "Financial integration and stability: towards a more resilient single EU financial market ", Frankfurt am Main.
Resilience in the financial sector has improved in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and action is now focusing on longer-term growth goals, although vulnerabilities remain, according to an annual European Commission report on financial integration and stability.
"Ce Conseil informel nous a permis de faire de vrais progrès sur un nombre de sujets sensibles. Il est essentiel que nous ne perdions pas le momentum. Nous avons besoin de tout un arsenal de mesures pour éviter une nouvelle crise et ses conséquences catastrophiques sur l'emploi et sur la croissance. C'est pourquoi nous devons conclure les négociations sur la capitalisation des banques (CRD 4), sur les agences de notation et toutes les autres propositions sur la table des co-législateurs au plus vite."
"My priorities for 2012 focus on initiatives that see the financial sector as a source of financing for our economies, and therefore as an agent of economic growth…" Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the press conference launching the Green Paper on shadow banking, Brussels.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body with 36 members, and with the participation of over 180 countries, has adopted new standards aimed at strengthening global safeguards and protecting the integrity of the financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing threats. The European Commission will now take steps to ensure that these revised standards are rapidly incorporated into our own European framework.
In an interview with Bloomberg at Davos, Commissioner Barnier talks about the plan for an EU framework for bank resolution and crisis management in the financial sector. He also discusses shadow banking, rules on bank bonuses, the relationship with the United Kingdom and the creation of an expert group on the structure of the EU banking sector, chaired by Mr. Erkki Liikanen. Interview by C. Connan. Bloomberg.
"The meaning of the decisions taken by the European Commission, heads of state and government, is very clear. At the highest level, there is an unbreakable political determination to take all the necessary measures to overcome the current crisis". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference "Restoring Confidence in Financial Markets", Tokyo.
"The current crisis is not only a 'European crisis'. It affects all countries. Therefore, we should reinforce global governance". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Asian Financial Forum, Hong Kong.
"In the current difficult economic climate in which we live, the human dimension of policy and regulation is more important than ever". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the European Economic and Social Committee.
"This crisis is first and foremost a crisis of confidence. The citizens have lost confidence. The markets have lost confidence. They test our unity and our determination to change the models on which we have rested for too long." Interview by Sophie Guillaud, Eco des Pays de Savoie.
Financial regulation and the Single Market Act: two instruments for revitalising the European project
The 12 levers set out in the Single Market Act – drafted on the basis of a report submitted by Mario Monti in 2010 – "have the potential to increase Europe's growth by an additional 3 percentage points by 2020. For this to happen, we have to accept – in Italy as in other Member States – that in some areas the status quo must be challenged." Speech by Commissioner Barnier before the Italian Parliament.
"Every day, people are asking us if our announcements were followed up and if we have changed the rules and behaviour. I think that, where our reforms are in place, they have effect. This commitment is to be respected for the whole financial reform agenda." Speech by Commissioner Barnier to the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.
In an interview with "Trends-Tendances" Commissioner Barnier analyses Europe's debt crisis and underlines progress in the area of financial regulation. Interview by Sébastien Buron. Trends-Tendances
Commissioner Barnier comes back to the question of the reform agenda of the banking sector, in particular the implementation of G20 commitments, banks recapitalization and interbank guarantees.
After the worse financial crisis since the great depression in the 1930s, Europe needs to take the next step. With the Single Market Act we want to bring growth, new jobs and opportunities to European citizens and businesses. To make this happen we need to act together and we need to act now. Article by Commissioner Barnier, Public Service Review, issue 22.
Commissioner Barnier has given interviews to several television and radio stations following the meeting of the Heads of State and Government of the Euro area.
With stock markets in turmoil, Michel Barnier and Jean-Pierre Jouyet met to discuss regulation. La Tribune took the opportunity to gather their views on the crisis, banking, financing for SMEs and shortselling. Interview by Christèle Fradin, La Tribune .
"We all know where the crisis came from. From undercapitalised financial institutions, failing supervision and faltering corporate governance rules. We need to finish our regulatory work: putting rules at the service of morality and banks at the service of the economy." Interview by Jean-Jacques Mevel, Le Figaro.
Interview with Commissioner Barnier at the end of the international conference "Tomorrow's Growth", organised by the Strategic Analysis Centre in Paris. Interview by Jean-Louis Courleux, Podcastjournal.
Commissioner Barnier details the reform package based on five principles: Supervision; Transparency; Stability; Responsibility; Protection. Speech at the Conference "The EU Financial Sector after the Storm", Vilnius, Lithuania.
To exit the real economy from the crisis, the EU and member states have responded with new common economic governance rules, along with more discipline, notably budgetary discipline. These measures are necessary, but insufficient. Only a resolute action on the causes of the financial crisis and a long-term vision will allow us to restore public confidence. Article by Commissioner Barnier, Revue de l'Union européenne.
Un dimanche dans l'été du Commissaire Barnier. Propos recueillis par S. Maillard. La Croix
Time for delivery: Making the Reforms of the Financial System in Europe and in the United States a reality
"I joined the European Commission in February 2010. Since then, I have spent most of my time on one priority: Reforming Europe's financial system. Building a solid foundation. For the future." - speech at Brookings Institute, Washington.
Statement from Commissioner Barnier on the announcement of Christine Lagarde's candidature for the IMF
"The IMF is an essential institution for both the European and the global economy, especially for those countries for which it helps to put public finances and growth back on track.
On the occasion of the World Consumer Rights Day, "Consumers International" - a global federation of consumer groups is campaigning today for fairer financial services. The European Commission fully supports this objective. Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and Consumer and Health Commissioner John Dalli are acting on all fronts to give EU consumers a fairer deal in financial services.
For Commissioner Barnier, "the Single Market is not working as well as it could: it should offer more opportunities." Interview by C. Bodart and C. Ramakers, Union & Actions.
The 10th of February 2011 marks the first anniversary of Commissioner Barnier taking office. The "One Year Progress Report" sets out what has been done in the area of financial services and what is next on the agenda to achieve a stronger, safer and more responsible financial system.
Commissioner Barnier about new rules for financial institutions, solidarity for the Euro and stress tests. Interview by C. Gammelin and D. Stawski. © Süddeutsche Zeitung GmbH, Munich. Courtesy of http://www.sz-content.de (Süddeutsche Zeitung Content)
Commissioner Barnier promises rigorous bank stress tests before spring. Interview by Jean-Jacques Mevel, Le Figaro.
Interview with Commissioner Barnier on Financial Sector Regulation policy in Europe and the US. L'Agefi Hebdo
"I am aware of the concerns by banks about the high costs and the considerable efforts needed to implement reforms in the financial sector. However, they are absolutely necessary if we want to show to Europeans that, in the financial field as well as elsewhere, the Single Market is made for them". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the conference "EU Retail banking - getting reform right"
On the occasion of the Conference "Payfair" on bank cards and payment methods, Commissioner Barnier called for a pan-European bank card and stressed the need to put the financial sector at the service of European citizens.
Commissioner Barnier presents his work programme for 2011 in the area of financial regulation to the European Parliament (ECON Committee).
On his second official visit to the US, Commissioner Barnier met with political representatives and key players in the financial sector. His engagement included meetings with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and with US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairman Gary Gensler. He also delivered speeches at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIMFA) and at the Atlantic Council.
The Atlantic Council hosted Commissioner Barnier for a discussion on the current state of economic affairs and progress towards financial regulatory reform in Europe.
Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the 50th General Assembly and Annual Meeting of the World Federation of Exchanges.
At the height of the financial crisis in 2008, the newly empowered G20 was charged with driving the reform of the international financial sector. Progress is well underway in the European Union and in the US. This note outlines some of the main features of the US reform and reviews some important developments in other G20 countries.
Commissioner Barnier's speech at the EUROFI conference.
Joint statement by Commissioner Barnier and Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on the financial reform agenda.
Commissioner Barnier has little understanding for complaints from the finance industry about high financial burdens and over-regulation. Interview by Ruth Berschens, Handelsblatt.
Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier on the approval by the U.S. Senate of the financial reform bill (MEMO/10/337)
Press conference following the Economic and Financial Affairs Council.
Commissioner Barnier talks about tightening financial regulation and injecting dynamism into the European economy. Interview by Simon O'Connor, E!Sharp.
Despite the country's uncertain political climate, Commissioner Barnier is confident of the Belgian EU Presidency. Under the heading of of financial regulation, Belgium desires to find a compromise on regulating hedge funds. Interview by Vincent Georis and Krystèle Tachdjian, L'Echo.
After two years of crisis, G20 countries are trying to restore stability to world financial system. Interview with Commissioner Barnier by C. Monin. La Vie.
Declaration of M. Barnier to the Greek weekly Realnews. Interview by A. Athanasiou.
Bank levies, new rules and stricter oversight of the financial sector are necessary because the taxpayer is no longer footing the bill for the crisis alone. This is a tailored approach in order not to harm economic recovery. Interview by Adriana Cerretelli, Il Sole 24 Ore.
Michel Barnier on the reform of financial markets and the relaunch of the Single Market for the benefit of new growth. interview by F. Autret and G. Marchal. Agefi Hebdo.
Michel Barnier specifies the Commission's intentions in regulating financial services and comments on Europe's recent austerity measures. Interview by Jean Jacques Mével and Claire Gallen, Le Figaro.
As part of its work on preventing a future crisis and strenghtening the financial system, the European Commission has put forward a proposal on Credit Rating Agencies (CRA) and launched a public consultation on reforming corporate governance in financial institutions. Furthermore, it has adopted a Communication where it commits itself to move swiftly in completing the necessary reforms to ensure a safe and sound European financial system.
"The peoples of Europe must not be the victims of a crisis they are in no way responsible for", declared M. Barnier to the Greek weekly Realnews. Interview by A. Athanasiou.
Speech of Commissioner Barnier at the International Conference in Berlin 'Effective Financial Market Regulation After Pittsburgh - Achievements and Challenges'.
On his return from his first official visit to the United States, and following recent calls by Heads of State and Government to accelerate the pace of financial reform, Commissioner Barnier held a press conference setting out where the EU and the US stand on delivering G20 commitments on financial regulation reform, and the next steps to fulfill those commitments. This was also an opportunity for Commissioner Barnier to debrief journalists on the outcome of his first official visit to the US.
In a speech at the European Institute in Washington, M. Barnier spoke about the necessity for the US and Europe to work together and lead the way in their efforts to build a safer global macro-financial environment.
The European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services visited the United States from 9 to 12 May. In his first official visit to New York and Washington, Commissioner Barnier met with political representatives and key players in the financial sector.
Internal Market: Commission acts to put an end to special rights of the Greek state in the Public Power Corporation (IP/10/503)
Before the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Michel Barnier outlined his priorities for financial services for 2010 and requested the support of the European Parliament. He emphasised that we find ourselves in a critical time. One where things are decided and history could turn into one direction or another.
In a keynote speech to the 8th Annual Financial Services Conference in Brussels, Mr Barnier set out his views on forging a new deal between the world of finance and society which would restore trust in the financial sector.
Eurofi Conference, Madrid - In the absence of Mr Barnier, Mr Algirdas Šemeta (Commissioner for Taxation and Customs Union, Audit and Anti-Fraud) kindly delivered his speech on financial regulation reform at the Eurofi Conference dinner.
Frankfurt - Speech of Commissioner Michel Barnier at the conférence on "financial integration and stability: the legacy of the crisis".
European Central Bank and European Commission hold joint conference on "financial integration and stability: the legacy of the crisis" (IP/10/417)
European Commissioner Michel Barnier on new capital requirements, the reform of supervision – and his quarrels with the Americans. Interview by Reinhard Hönighaus, Financial Time Deutschland.
At a breakfast meeting with representatives of the financial sector in the City of London, Mr Barnier underlined his commitment to better regulation, but at the same to time to consultation and to enhanced dialogue with stakeholders.
At a dinner with representatives of the banking sector at the London Stock Exchange, Mr Barnier shared with his audience the principles and key objectives which will guide him when regulating financial services in the years to come.