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Further arrangements made for the orderly wind-down of LIBOR at the end of 2021

30 September 2021
Knowledge Base

The sterling, Japanese yen, Swiss franc and euro LIBOR panels are ceasing on 31 December 2021. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recently confirmed that to avoid disruption to legacy contracts that reference the one-, three- and six-month sterling and Japanese yen LIBOR settings, it will require the LIBOR benchmark administrator to publish these settings under a “synthetic” methodology, based on term risk-free rates, for the duration of 2022. These 6 LIBOR settings will be available only for use in some legacy contracts, and are not for use in new business. The recent publications also include a consultation paper on the FCA’s proposed decision on which legacy contracts can use these synthetic LIBOR rates. Continue reading…

BIS Innovation Hub and HKMA investigate how tokenised green bonds can improve sustainable investment

25 August 2021
Knowledge Base

In many countries, issuing and investing in bonds can be cumbersome and complex, involving many steps and parties, and typically requiring a considerable financial commitment from the investor. For those investing in environmentally friendly projects, there is uncertainty about whether the bond issuer is delivering the positive green impact it committed to at issuance. Also, there are typically no liquid and transparent secondary markets for retail investors. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Innovation Hub Hong Kong Centre and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) joined forces with the technology industry on Project Genesis to build a prototype digital infrastructure that enables green investments, improves transparency on the use of proceeds, and thereby helps meet regional and global environmental and sustainability goals. Continue reading…

What did discussions on international tax reform focus on?

13 July 2021
Knowledge Base

Members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) / G20 / Inclusive Framework worked on a global consensus-based solution to reform the international corporate tax framework. The discussion focused on two broad work streams: Pillar One, the partial re-allocation of taxing rights, and Pillar Two, the minimum effective taxation of profits of Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). Pillar One aims to adapt the international rules on how the taxation of corporate profits of the largest and most profitable MNEs is shared amongst countries, to reflect the changing nature of business models, including the ability of companies to do business without a physical presence. Pillar Two will set a floor to excessive tax competition. It aims to ensure that multinational businesses are subject to a minimum effective level of tax on all of their profits each year.
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EBA proposes to further harmonise EU law applicable to branches of third country credit institutions

30 June 2021
Knowledge Base

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has recently published a Report on the treatment of incoming third country branches (TCB) under the national law of Member States. The Report, which is addressed to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, illustrates the results of a stock-taking exercise conducted with competent authorities about their national regulatory law/regulations and supervisory practices and a mapping of the TCBs established in the Member States. Considering the increased volume of activities carried out by TCBs in a context of regulatory fragmentation across the EU, the Report lays down 14 high-level policy recommendations for further harmonisation of EU law. Continue reading…

ECB review sees elevated financial stability risks due to uneven impact of pandemic

28 May 2021
Knowledge Base

The uneven economic impact of the pandemic means that financial stability risks are concentrated in specific sectors and countries, often with higher pre-existing vulnerabilities, concludes the May 2021 Financial Stability Review (FSR) of the European Central Bank (ECB). “As the euro area emerges from the third wave of the pandemic, risks to financial stability remain elevated and have become more unevenly distributed. A higher corporate debt burden in countries with larger services sectors could increase pressure on governments and banks in these countries,” said Luis de Guindos, Vice-President of the ECB. “Extensive policy support, particularly for corporates, could gradually move from being broad-based to more targeted,” he added. Continue reading…

Global leaders adopt agenda to overcome COVID-19 crisis and avoid future pandemics

22 May 2021
Knowledge Base

The EU will come forward with a proposal in the WTO focusing on:

clarifying and facilitating the use of compulsory licences in crisis times like this pandemic;
supporting the expansion of production;
trade facilitation and limiting export restrictions.

All G20 members also acknowledged the need to address the funding gap of the ACT-Accelerator, a global collaboration to accelerate development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines, and launched by the WHO, the European Commission, France and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And agreed to extend its mandate to the end of 2022.
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Charles Randell: Cautious optimism for the post-pandemic world

27 April 2021
Knowledge Base

Charles Randell, Chair to the Finance and Leasing Association, recently delivered a speech at the Finance and Leasing Association Industry Gathering on 22 April 2021. It’s now more than a year since we all started our extraordinary new ways of living and working with coronavirus. Last summer, three months into the first lockdown, I made a speech about the consequences of coronavirus and the financial system we would need for the recovery. I said that the recovery would be determined more by decisions about public health and fiscal and monetary policy than by financial conduct regulation, but I noted that the pandemic had exposed some stark truths: that we have too much debt; that we don’t save enough; and that when people do save, they are too often persuaded to buy unsuitable investments. I said that the financial conduct regulator we need for the recovery is one that fundamentally changes this picture. Continue reading…

ESMA advises on framework for data reporting service providers

12 April 2021
Knowledge Base

The European Securities and Markets Authority, the EU’s securities markets regulator, recently published advice to the European Commission related to data reporting service providers (DRSP). The advice focuses on the fees, fines and penalties applicable to DRSPs subject to EU supervision as well as the criteria determining whether certain DRSPs may be exempted from ESMA supervision (derogation criteria). It aims to provide a simple and clear framework by leveraging on the existing frameworks for Trade Repositories and Securitisation Repositories and by streamlining the approach for the assessment of the derogation criteria. Following the ESAs’ Review, authorisation and supervision of authorised reporting mechanisms (ARMs) and approved publication arrangements (APAs) will transfer from competent authorities to ESMA. Continue reading…

Commission approves prolongation of market conform asset protection scheme for banks in Greece

11 April 2021
Knowledge Base

The European Commission has approved the prolongation of an existing Greek scheme aiming at supporting the reduction of non-performing loans of Greek banks on the basis that it remains free of any State aid. The existing asset protection scheme (known by the name of ‘Hercules’), was approved by the Commission in October 2019, for an initial duration of 18 months. Greece notified the Commission of its plan to prolong the scheme for another 18 months, until October 2022.
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ESMA sees potential for sudden reversal in investors’ risk assessment

17 November 2020
Knowledge Base

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the EU securities markets regulator, recently published its second risk dashboard for 2020 which sees a continued risk of decoupling between asset valuations and economic fundamentals. During the third quarter of 2020, EU financial markets have continued their recovery and equity market valuations have edged up further. There are increasing signs of strong geographical and sectorial differentiation across financial markets with fixed income markets seeing large-scale valuation increases across various segments such as emerging markets, investment grade and high yield. Credit rating downgrades have been slowing and investment funds recorded inflows across asset classes, especially for bond funds.

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