Commission endorses the Netherlands’ €5.4 billion modified recovery and resilience plan, including a REPowerEU chapter

04 October 2023

On 29 September, the Commission positively assessed the Netherlands’ modified recovery and resilience plan, which includes a REPowerEU chapter. The plan is now worth €5.4 billion in grants and covers 22 reforms and 28 investments. The REPowerEU chapter includes a new reform and the scaling up of one investment to deliver on the REPowerEU Plan’s objectives to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels well before 2030, in light of Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. In addition to this, the Netherlands has also proposed to modify nine measures included in the original plan and to introduce one new investment. Continue reading…

Lieve Lowet

Lieve Lowet

EU Affairs consultant and lobbyist

How Belgium Managed in One Week to Mobilize 22 Billion euro in Capital from Households

03 October 2023

In less than a week, the Belgian treasury managed to raise a total of 21.896 billion euro from retail investors and savers for a hardly announced government bond, four times its target. It was the talk of the town, and a success nobody had imagined. It will go down in history as the largest capital operations of the Belgian government among its citizens. Belgium was not the only country in the EU which recently went directly to its citizens: also Italy, Portugal and Greece have done so. But why was the Belgian issuance such a roaring success ? Continue reading…

The Dark Side of Giving Voice to Values : Do Not Throw Pollyannna Whistleblowers Under the Bus

01 October 2023
Knowledge Base

by Caroline Raat

“Giving Voice to Values” (GVV) by dr. M.C. Gentile is a popular, but theoretically not well-founded educational program and approach to values-driven leadership development in business education and the workplace. Rather than focusing on ethical analysis and philosophical reasoning, GVV concentrates on ethical implementation, addressing the question: “How can I express my values effectively in a professional setting?” The foundation of GVV is the premise that most individuals already know what is right, but they struggle with how to express and act on their values in the workplace, especially when faced with opposition or pressure. It is designed to help individuals develop the skills, confidence, and habit of voicing and enacting their values. In many ways, GVV is a glorified assertiveness training, based on pseudoscience.
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FSB proposes a toolbox of financial resources and tools for the resolution of CCPs

29 September 2023

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has recently published a consultation report on the financial resources and tools for central counterparty (CCP) resolution. The report presents the outcome of the FSB’s qualitative analysis of a set of financial resources and tools for resolution: (i) bail-in bonds; (ii) resolution funds; (iii) resolution-specific insurance; (iv) resolution-specific third-party contractual support; (v) resolution cash calls; (vi) statutory or contractual variation margin gains haircutting for resolution; and (vii) equity in a first-loss position. The resources and tools were assessed against the relevant considerations for financial resources set out in the FSB Key Attributes of Effective Resolution Regimes for Financial Institutions (Key Attributes) and accompanying guidance on CCP resolution. Continue reading…

Risk in Focus 2024: Hot topics for internal auditors

28 September 2023
Knowledge Base

For the past eight years, Risk in Focus has sought to highlight key risk areas for internal auditors when preparing their independent risk assessment work, annual planning and audit scoping. The 2024 research report has revealed a looming poly-crisis as a series of high-impact risk events occurring simultaneously and exacerbating a multitude of interconnected risks. The report calls on boards to collaborate with internal auditors to navigate the poly-crisis by having an unwavering focus on organisational resilience and working together to respond rapidly to the myriad of immediate and fast-moving risks businesses now face. Continue reading…

FCA sets out initial findings on bank account access and closures

27 September 2023

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published the findings of its initial data exercise on bank account access and closures. The information supplied by banks, building societies and payment companies suggests that no firm closed an account between July 2022 and June 2023 primarily because of a customer’s political views. The Payment Accounts Regulations ban banks or building societies discriminating on this basis. The FCA will be doing further work with firms to verify the data and to better understand the reasons behind, for example, the closure of accounts due to reputational risk. Continue reading…

Commission re-imposes €376.36 million fine on Intel for anticompetitive practices

26 September 2023
Knowledge Base

The European Commission has re-imposed a fine of around €376.36 million on Intel for a previously established abuse of dominant position in the market for computer chips called x86 central processing units (‘CPUs’). Intel engaged in a series of anticompetitive practices aimed at excluding competitors from the relevant market in breach of EU antitrust rules. In 2009, the Commission fined Intel €1.06 billion after finding that Intel abused its dominant position in the market for x86 CPUs. The Commission decision was based on findings that Intel had engaged in two specific forms of illegal practices by: (i) giving wholly or partially hidden rebates to computer manufacturers on condition that they bought all, or almost all, their x86 CPUs from Intel (so-called ‘conditional rebates’); and (ii) paying computer manufacturers to halt or delay the launch of specific products containing competitors’ x86 CPUs and to limit the sales channels available to these products (so-called ‘naked restrictions’). Continue reading…


European Institutes of Internal Auditors

Risk in Focus 2024

25 September 2023

Economic uncertainty has driven the perfect storm of interlocking risks described in last year’s Risk in Focus in new directions in 2023. Organisations are now grappling with an ensuing poly- crisis – with multiple catastrophic events occurring simultaneously. With Europe’s biggest economy Germany slipping into recession following last year’s energy price shock, some organisations are facing declining cash balances and higher net debt. Organisations are preparing for possible trouble ahead – and to leap forward when conditions improve.

For the past eight years, Risk in Focus has sought to highlight key risk areas to help internal auditors prepare their independent risk assessment work, annual planning and audit scoping. It helps Chief Audit Executives (CAEs) to understand how their peers view today’s risk landscape as they prepare their forthcoming audit plans for the year ahead. This year, the new report identifies leading risks to organisations in 2024 as: cybersecurity and data security and human capital, diversity, talent management and retention.

Risk in Focus 2024 involved a collaboration between 16 European Institutes of Internal Auditors, spanning 17 countries which included Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK & Ireland – the highest number of European countries involved so far.

The survey elicited 799 responses from CAEs across Europe. Simultaneously, five roundtable discussions were organised with 46 CAEs on each of the risk areas covered in the report. In addition, we also conducted 11 one-to-one interviews with subject matter experts that included CAEs, Audit Committee Chairs and industry experts to provide deeper insights into how these top risks are manifesting and developing.

This brand new whitepaper can be downloaded via our platform for free.

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Monetary and fiscal policy-mix addressing the disease of inflation

22 September 2023
Knowledge Base

Francois Villeroy de Galhau

Let me start with good news about a favourite Eurofi topic: banking regulation and Basel 3. I say it as BIS Chair and former chair of GHOS: we had in Monday an important GHOS meeting in Basel, and we unanimously welcomed the decisive progress made this year in the implementation of Basel 3. By 2025, all jurisdictions – including Europe and – yes – the US – should have implemented it in a broad compliance with the standards. I know each banking industry, on both sides of the Atlantic, tends to consider that the other side has undue advantages. It’s simply not right, and our motto is now straightforward: let us now close this page, and implement the European compromise, no less and no more. No less as some banks would perhaps still dream of, and no more as some theoreticians of regulation would perhaps imagine. And we should now turn to the priority learned from the banking turmoil: “strengthening supervisory effectiveness” [*1] rather than focusing on further regulation. Let me now turn to my theme which is the policy mix to fight our main economic disease: inflation. Continue reading…

Faster green transition would benefit firms, households and banks, ECB economy-wide climate stress test finds

21 September 2023
Knowledge Base

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published the results of its second economy-wide climate stress test. The results show that the best way to achieve a net-zero economy for firms, households and banks in the euro area is to accelerate the green transition to a rate that is faster than under current policies. “We need more decisive policies to ensure a speedier transition towards a net-zero economy in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. Moving at the current pace will push up risks and costs for the economy and financial system. There is a clear need for speed on the road to Paris,” says ECB Vice-President Luis de Guindos. Continue reading…