Financial services & capital markets > Investment services & financial markets infrastructure
Crowdfunding has the potential to bridge the financing gap many start-ups face and to stimulate entrepreneurship. The European Commission has today launched a consultation inviting stakeholders to share their views about crowdfunding: its potential benefits, risks, and the design of an optimal policy framework to untap the potential of this new form of financing.
Commission proposes new measures to restore confidence in benchmarks following LIBOR and EURIBOR scandals
The Commission has today proposed draft legislation to help restore confidence in the integrity of benchmarks. A benchmark is an index (statistical measure), calculated from a representative set of underlying data, that is used as a reference price for a financial instrument or financial contract or to measure the performance of an investment fund.
“I welcome the political agreement with Council on the Market Abuse Regulation that European Parliament has endorsed today, which will establish tougher rules to better prevent, detect and punish market abuse”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
"The TTIP (Transatlantic Free Trade Area) is a starting point. It is an opportunity to prove that we are able to trust each other. To make mutual concessions for economic growth and jobs. And to define global standards." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Transatlantic Partnership Network in Washington.
“We still face difficult discussions on banking, investment firms and in other areas. Our agreement on swaps proves that we can trust each other. We have passed that test case. Now we must demonstrate joint leadership and raise the bar in tomorrow’s world of financial regulation”. Speech by Commissionner Barnier at the Brookings Institute in Washington
The European Commission and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission reach a Common Path Forward on Derivatives
Commissioner Barnier and United States CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) Chairman Gary Gensler today announced a Path Forward regarding their joint understandings on a package of measures for how to approach cross-border derivatives. “Our discussions have been long and sometimes difficult, but they have always been close, continuous and collaborative talks between partners and friends” said Commissioner Barnier.
Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier following today’s agreement on European rules on market abuse
“I welcome today’s endorsement by Coreper of the political agreement between the Council and the European Parliament on tougher rules to better prevent, detect and punish market abuse”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
The European Commission has today proposed a new investment fund framework designed for investors who want to put money into companies and projects for the long term. These private European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIFs) would only invest in businesses that need money to be committed to them for long periods of time.
Over the past five years, the European Union and the U.S. have developed separate, new regulatory regimes for derivatives, aimed at protecting our financial systems, economies and taxpayers from a repeat of the 2008 crisis. The next challenge is to use those reforms as the foundation for a single, global framework. Article by Michel Barnier, Bloomberg.
What is crowdfunding? And what is its potential for growth in Europe? To fully understand the opportunities and risks of this fast-growing field, the European Commission organized a workshop on the 3rd of June in Brussels. Watch the video produced by the Commission including interviews with Commissioner Barnier and crowdfunding users, platforms and networks.
Crowdfunding: which framework(s) should be set up at the European level in order to embrace its potential while minimising the risks?
“It is too early to know whether crowdfunding is going to revolutionise finance, and even if it is going to continue to exist in its current form. Only one thing is for sure: if this encouraging phenomenon keeps its promises, Europe cannot afford to miss out”. Speech by Commissionner Barnier at the workshop on crowdfunding.
“These new EU initiatives will increase opportunities for innovative start-ups or social businesses to find capital”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
“Interbank interest rate benchmarks are systemic benchmarks which are important for the transmission of the euro area’s monetary policy. (...) Any failures may cause losses for investors, distort the real economy and undermine market confidence. (...) The Commission is aiming to present its proposal on benchmarks in the second quarter of 2013 and I expect that proposal to include the power to impose mandatory submissions for systemic benchmarks such as Euribor.” Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
Derivatives: Statement by Commissioner Barnier on the technical standards to implement the new rules
“I take note of the fact that the European Parliament has decided not to object to our proposed technical standards to implement our new rules on derivatives. (...) This means that the standards can now enter into force around mid-March”. Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
European Parliament’s vote on new rules to regulate credit rating agencies (CRAs): Statement by Commissioner Barnier
Commissioner Barnier has welcomed the agreement on new rules on credit rating agencies (CRAs) reached today by the European Parliament. “This agreement will considerably improve the quality of ratings. Credit rating agencies will have to be more transparent when rating sovereign states and will have to follow stricter rules which will make them more accountable for mistakes in case of negligence or intent”, said the Commissioner.
Commission adopts implementing rules for the Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD)
The Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers is one of the measures taken by the European Union in its commitment to fight financial crisis. It aims to create a general and efficient regulatory and monitoring framework for alternative investment fund managers in Europe.
Commission adopts technical standards for the Regulation on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories (EMIR)
Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said: “The adoption of these technical standards is the final step in achieving the mandatory clearing and reporting of OTC derivatives and in meeting our G20 commitments. This will improve transparency in the trading of derivatives”.
Tackling the culture of manipulation: What were the systemic failures? How widespread is the problem and what action is being taken?
"Les indices de références s'utilisent au plan mondial, il est fondamental de coordonner nos travaux avec nos partenaires internationaux. La Commission travaille donc étroitement avec la BCE et d'autres banques centrales, le FSB et l'IOSCO afin d'envisager le plus rapidement possible des alternatives au système actuel qui répondent le mieux aux besoins de l'économie." Speech by Commissioner Michel Barnier.
The consultation builds on and is complementary to the European Securities and Markets Authority's (ESMA) guidelines on ETF (exchange-traded funds) and other UCITS issues of 25 July. The consultation raises a series of issues and policy options aimed at maintaining investor confidence in money market funds.
In the recent LIBOR scandal, serious concerns have been raised about false submissions of banks' estimated interbank lending rates. The European Commission has today acted to address this kind of market manipulation, by adopting amendments to the proposals for a Regulation and a Directive on insider dealing and market manipulation, including criminal sanctions, initially tabled on 20 October 2011.
Short selling: Commission adopts rules on the ban on uncovered sovereign credit default swaps and short sales of shares and sovereign debt
The European Commission has today adopted a Delegated Act which sets out important technical rules needed to ensure the uniform application and enforcement of the Short Selling Regulation . In particular, the delegated act specifies the cases in which sovereign credit default swaps are considered covered, and therefore not banned in accordance with the Regulation.
In the aftermath of the biggest financial crisis in recent memory, the financial sector must place consumers at its heart. Retail products must be safer, information standards must become clearer, and those selling products must always be subject to the highest standards. The European Commission has adopted today a legislative package solely dedicated to consumers, which includes a proposal for a regulation on key information documents for packaged retail investment products (PRIPS), a revision of the Insurance Mediation Directive (IMD), and a proposal to boost protection for those who buy investment funds (UCITS).
The European Commission has today set out the detailed rules aimed at reducing the risk of settlement failures linked to naked short selling, as well as the means by which market participants should disclose significant short positions to the market.
Council and Parliament agree on Commission proposals on European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds
"This agreement sends an important signal that taking concrete measures to aid growth in Europe is at the heart of our work". Commissioner Barnier welcomes trilogue agreement by Council and Parliament on European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds.
“The revision of the Directive on insurance mediation (IMD) is an important step in restoring consumer confidence in the financial sector” — Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the Conference of the European Federation of Insurance Intermediaries (BIPAR).
"Asset managers are in the vanguard to make Europeans' savings work for businesses. And to help savers better manage the risks they face in the course of their lives." Speech by Commissioner Barnier to the European Fund and Asset Management Association.
"I congratulate the European Parliament on its vote approving a regulation for more stability, transparency and efficiency in derivatives markets. Today's vote is a key step in our effort to establish a safer and sounder regulatory framework for European financial markets." Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
Commissioner Barnier sets out the concrete steps being taken in order to better involve civil society in the new financial regulation. This greater participation of all stakeholders will soon be given the opportunity to prove its effectiveness, since 2012 will be full of initiatives that will have a strong impact on consumers of financial services. Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the '' Finance and Society Conference 2012'' (Finance Watch) in Brussels.
Commission acts to increase the safety and efficiency of securities settlement in Europe The European Commission has proposed to set up a European common regulatory framework for the institutions responsible for securities settlement, called Central Securities Depositories (CSDs). The proposal will bring more safety and efficiency to securities settlement in Europe. It also seeks to shorten the time it takes for securities settlement and to minimise settlement fails.
Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier welcoming the appointment of David Wright as Secretary-General of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
"I congratulate the European Parliament and the Council on reaching today an important agreement on a regulation for more stability, transparency and efficiency in derivatives markets (…) The era of opacity and shady deals is over". Statement by Commissioner Barnier.
Statement by Commissioner Barnier following the agreement at the ECOFIN Council on a revised mandate on derivatives (EMIR).
The European Commission has presented a package of measures to support entrepreneurship and responsible business. First, the Social Business Initiative will help companies that address social objectives as their corporate aim to fulfil their unexploited potential. This initiative is complemented by a new strategy for corporate social responsibility. The Commission has also proposed to revise the 'Accounting' directives and the 'Transparency' directive. This will improve transparency and promote sustainable business among multinationals - in particular those in the forest and mining industries - and will simplify accounting rules for SMEs, allowing them to save up to €1.7 billion per year.
MiFID revision and market abuse: Commission tables new rules for more sound and trasparent financial markets
The European Commission has tabled proposals to revise the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID). These proposals consist of a Directive and a Regulation and aim to make financial markets more efficient and transparent, in particular by improving the oversight of less regulated markets and by addressing the issue of excessive price volatility in commodity derivatives markets. The Commission has also proposed a Regulation on market abuse and a Directive to ensure effective sanctions at European level for insider dealing and market manipulation.
Commissioner Michel Barnier welcomes trilogue agreement by Council and Parliament on new rules for short selling and Credit Default Swaps
Last night's agreement by the European Parliament and the Council represents a significant step towards greater transparency, stability and responsibility in short selling transactions and sovereign Credit Default Swap (CDS) markets. It will now need to be formally endorsed by the European Parliament, Council and Commission.
"I congratulate the EU finance ministers in finding a unanimous agreement yesterday on this major text that is to bring transparancy and regulation to the OTC derivatives market. We will now move to the final stage of adoption with the European Parliament. I hope to see this important milestone to be in force by the end of the year."
According to Commissioner Barnier, national short-selling bans, coordinated by the newly created European Securities and Market Authority recently, demonstrated the need for an EU-wide regulation. Interview by Jim Brunsden, Bloomberg Brief.
Today, the Commission services launch a consultation on possible European measures to support social businesses through private investment funds.
"You know my general commitment to well regulated markets based on the principles of transparency and accountability. This commitment is even more pronounced in the case of those markets where abuse, opacity and price volatility may have serious social, political or human consequences". Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the EUROFI 2011 conference, Paris.
Excessive volatility of prices on all major commodity markets occurs at a time when the competitiveness of European industry crucially depends on efficient and secure access to raw materials. Raw materials are vital for the EU’s economy and particularly crucial for the development of modern environmentally friendly technologies such as electric cars and photovoltaics.
Enhancing safety of European financial markets: common rules for Central Securities Depositories and securities settlement
As part of its work in creating a more transparent and stable financial system, the European Commission Services have today launched a consultation on Central Securities Depositories (CSDs) and on the harmonisation of certain aspects of securities settlement in the European Union.
The European Commission has launched a consultation today on the review of the EU rules for setting up and operating investment funds. These funds are known as Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities (UCITS) and accounted for over €5 trillion in 2009
Financial reform: the European Commission sets out ways to strenghten sanctions for violation of EU rules and consults stakeholders on the review of MiFID
The European Commission adopted today a Communication setting out possible ways to reinforce sanctioning regimes in the EU’s financial services sector. It also launched a consultation on the review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID).
Commissioner Barnier welcomes EU agreement on tighter rules for the alternative investment fund sector
Michel Barnier welcomed the plenary vote of the European Parliament on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive. With the approval of both the governments of the EU Member States and the Members of the European Parliament, Europe is now set to introduce a new comprehensive and secure framework for the supervision and prudential oversight of hedge funds, private equity funds, real estate funds and a wide range of other types of institutional fund.
Remarks at "Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association" (SIFMA) Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association New York - October 28, 2010
SPEECH/10/612 - Mr. President, Mr. Bentsen, Ladies and Gentlemen, A very good morning to all of you. I arrived from Europe late yesterday evening. I am very happy that my first meeting here in the United States takes place at SIFMA....
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.
"Today, the European Parliament and the Member States have reached an agreement on the AIFM Directive which will introduce, for the first time, European regulation for the managers of alternative investment funds, including hedge funds and private equity".
Statement by Commissioner Michel Barnier on the conclusion of negotiations on the AIFM Directive (hedge funds and private equity) at the ECOFIN Council in Luxembourg, 19 October 2010.
Joint statement by Commissioner Barnier and Gary Gensler, Chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on the financial reform agenda.
"Technical complexity or technological developments cannot be used as an excuse to derogate from the fundamental principles of transparency, responsibility and appropriate regulation." Speech by Commissioner Barnier at the public hearing on the "Review of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)".
"We need markets, and we need financial institutions that create value-added, but everyone has to be able to answer for what they are doing. People taking crazy risks linked to crazy rewards have to be brought back to their senses". Interview by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, Telegraph.
Michel Barnier explains how the European Commission wants to make financial markets more transparent and reduce the risks of another crisis. Interview by Anne Bauer and Alexandre Counis, elEconomista.
Making financial markets safer and more transparent: new measures on derivatives, short selling and credit default swaps
As part of its ongoing work in creating a sounder financial system, the European Commission has tabled a proposal for a regulation aimed at bringing more safety and more transparency to the over-the-counter derivatives markets. It has also adopted a proposal for a regulation on short-selling and credit default swaps (CDS).
Commission proposes package to boost consumer protection and confidence in financial services (IP/10/918)
Commissioner Barnier proposes new measures to improve protection for bank account holders, investors and insurance policy holders.
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.
The European Commission has today completed a programme of improvements to the EU framework for investment funds. According to M. Barnier, the new rules "will improve investor protection, cut red tape and further strengthen the global competitiveness of Europe's investment funds".
Internal Market: Commission acts to ensure that 12 Member States implement EU rules on shareholders' rights in listed companies and public procurement redress (IP/10/815)
Public consultation on Short Selling and Credit Default Swaps-Frequently asked questions (MEMO/10/255)
In order to advance swiftly in completing the necessary reforms to ensure a safe and stable financial system in Europe, the European Commission has launched two consultations in the area of financial services.
In his first official visit to Stockholm, M. Barnier said that the Commission is going to propose restrictions on short-selling. He met the Finance Minister Anders Borg, the Minister of the Financial Markets, Mats Odell and the Governor of the Swedish Central Bank, Stefan Ingves. Article by Ola Hellblom, Dagens Industri, 05 June 2010, page 8.
Financial markets: Commission calls on Hungary to implement Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) (IP/10/497)
Meeting with London-based hedge fund and private equity managers.