ECON Publishes Draft Report on MMF Regulation

On November 17, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) published a draft report on the proposed Regulation on Money Market Funds (the MMF Regulation).

Money market funds are a type of investment fund that invests in short-term debt such as money market instruments issued by banks, governments and companies (MMFs).  If adopted, the MMF Regulation will introduce a general framework of requirements to enhance the liquidity and stability of MMF funds.

The draft report sets out suggested amendments to the European Commission’s original proposal and an explanatory statement. The statement comments that:

  • there is still significant scope for improvement relating to liquidity and maturity transformation and in making MMFs more stable;
  • a new category of EU government constant net assets value money market fund (CNAV MMF) should be established, which would invest a majority of assets into EU government debt; and
  • the net asset value of CNAVs should be subject to daily disclosure requirements, stress tests should take place on a quarterly basis and there should be stronger investor warnings.

The Parliament is scheduled to consider the MMF Regulation at its plenary session on March 25, 2015. Draft report.

Q&As and FAQs Updated by the Basel Committee, the FCA, the European Commission and the European Banking Authority

On October 7, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision issued frequently asked questions on the Basel III leverage ratio framework.

On October 6, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published a Q&A paper for alternative investment fund managers (AIFM) on reporting transparency information to the FCA.

On October 3, the European Commission published a frequently asked questions paper on the Regulation on improving securities settlement and regulating central securities depositories (CSDR).

On October 3, the European Banking Authority updated its Q&As on the single rulebook, publishing 16 new answers to questions largely relating to supervisory reporting and credit risk. Basel FAQs. FCA Q&As. European Commission FAQs. EBA Q&As.

Draft Regulatory Technical Standards on Supplementary Prospectuses Published

The European Commission has published a draft of regulatory technical standards on the issue of secondary prospectuses which, minor drafting amendments aside, match those published by the European Securities and Markets Authority in December 2013.

Currently, under article 16(1) of the European Prospectus Directive, a supplemental prospectus must be issued if any new factor arises (or a material inaccuracy in a prospectus is detected) between the approval of a prospectus and the closing of the offer or commencement of trading of the relevant securities to which it relates.  The draft regulatory technical standards set out the specific triggers for and contents of supplementary prospectuses.

Having now cleared the European Commission, the next step is for the regulations to be put before the European Parliament and Council for their consideration prior to their eventual enactment.  Draft Regulatory Technical Standards.

CFTC and EC Statement on Regulatory Framework

On February 12, the CFTC and the European Commission announced jointly that the two agencies have made significant progress in their collaboration on the regulatory frameworks for CFTC-regulated swap execution facilities (SEFs) and EU-regulated multilateral trading facilities (MTFs).  Joint Release.

As Part of EU-US Trade Deal the European Commission Proposes Framework for Regulatory Cooperation in Financial Services

On January 27, the European Commission published a report setting out a proposal for a framework for regulatory cooperation in financial services in the context of negotiations for an EU-US trade deal, known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

The EU intends to establish, within the TTIP framework, a process by which the EU and the United States are committed to working together towards strengthening financial stability. This cooperation would be based on a number of principles, backed by specific arrangements for the governance of the EU-US regulatory cooperation, guidelines on equivalence assessments and commitments to exchange necessary and appropriate data between regulators. Report.

UK House of Commons Scrutinizes MLD4 and Revised Wire Transfer Regulation Proposals

On January 2, the United Kingdom House of Commons Scrutiny Committee published its 28th Session 2013-2014 report.  In particular, the report considers the European Commission’s proposed MLD4 Directive on money laundering and terrorist financing and the proposed Wire Transfer Regulation.

Areas of concern over MLD4 highlighted in the report include supranational risk assessments, e-money, politically exposed persons, third country policy and sanctions and supervision.  Report.

UK House of Lords EU Committee Report on European Commission’s Financial Transaction Tax Proposals

On December 10, the UK House of Lords EU Sub-Committee on Economic and Financial Affairs published a follow-up report to its March 2012 report on the European Commission’s proposals for a financial transaction tax (FTT).

The Committee’s report identifies “serious” flaws with the Commission’s use of enhanced cooperation, including the adverse impact on institutions in non-participating member states, such as the UK.  Report.

European Commission Imposes EUR 1.71 Billion Fine for Participating in Illegal Cartels

On December 4, the European Commission announced that it had fined eight international banks a total of more than 1.7 billion for their participation in illegal cartels in markets for financial derivatives covering the European Economic Area.

Using the cartel settlement procedure, the Commission reached two separate decisions; one decision involved seven separate bilateral infringements relating to interest rate derivatives denominated in Japanese yen.  The companies involved were UBS, RBS, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan, Citigroup and RP Martin.

The other decision was made in relation to a collusion by four banks in relation to interest rate derivatives denominated in euro.  The banks were Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Société Générale.  Utilizing the Commission’s 2006 Leniency Notice, Barclays and UBS received complete immunity from fines.  Announcement.

ECON Report on Proposed Directive on Payment Accounts

On November 20, the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) published its report (dated November 19) on the proposed Directive on payment accounts.

The report contains a European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposed Directive on payment accounts, the text of which sets out suggested amendments to the European Commission’s original proposal, which was published in May 2013.  Report.