Conservatives: Marathon regulation talks seal leading role of London and UK

15-Jan-2014 @ 14:0

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Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

A new package of measures to regulate the market in financial products - agreed in Strasbourg last night after months of negotiation - will improve transparency and ensure the UK stays at the forefront of the global trade.

They should also be good for pensioners, small business and investment in technology, Conservative MEPs said today.

Political agreement on the second Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFiD) was reached on Tuesday night between the Parliament, EU Council and Commission.

The deal fulfills the commitments made by the G20 in 2010, at the height of the financial crisis, to bring in new rules governing the trading of derivatives and new transparency requirements to improve the way that these markets function.

Lead negotiator for the UK Conservatives Kay Swinburne said: “The UK has the largest financial markets in Europe and so was at the heart of negotiations. The focus of the regulation is competition and completing the single market in financial services – both of which are hugely positive for the UK. We proved under MiFID I that in a competitive market London beats Frankfurt and Paris every time, I believe the same will be true of MiFID II.

“The new rules on transparency, market participants and trading venues will improve the efficiency of financial markets without being overly burdensome. They will bring more transparency to the fixed income markets in particular, should be positive for investors and pensioners and should encourage a move to more technology based platforms over time.

"My personal goal of creating a new SME Growth Market has been achieved. This creates special rules to reduce administrative burdens, enabling more companies to come to the marketplace sooner and access finance more easily.

"Take as an example the Alternative Investment Market, the UK's " junior market" - a special place in European regulation means that it can be used in all future EU and UK regulation to reduce red tape for smaller businesses and create tax incentives for new investments."

Dr Swinburne acknowledged there were some areas for concern in the agreement, but said they were outweighed by benefits. She particularly noted the lack of ambition on consumer protection in financial services for the EU as a whole. Also the inclusion of the physical oil markets within the regulation.

She regretted that Labour negotiator Arlene McCarthy MEP and her party seemed intent on introducing financial rules for the oil and coal markets at the very last minute of negotiations.

She noted: "While Labour claim to be concerned about energy prices for consumers at home, they actually have no idea of the impact this inclusion may have on consumer energy and fuel prices.

"In a global market introducing this type of financial rule from Europe could be detrimental to UK energy markets oil prices and ultimately consumers.

"Conservatives in the European Parliament and the UK Government in Council fought hard to ensure a long transitional period to this ill-advised regime with a meaningful impact assessment having to be undertaken before oil and coal contracts can be included as financial products.

"Over all, this package should deliver measures which will make European financial markets more efficient and provide a more level playing field for all investors and participants whilst allowing competition and innovation which will ensure the UK remains a global financial centre."

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