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Europe plans supervision reforms to boost CMU and fintech

The European Commission has proposed changes to financial supervision within the bloc, claiming this will help in the creation of a full capital markets union (CMU) and boost the development of financial technology, or fintech, products.22 Sep 2017

The proposals include changes to the mandates, governance and funding of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs): the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).

The ESAs will be responsible for national technological innovation instruments and tools such as innovation hubs or sandboxes set up by national supervisors.

Under the proposals, ESMA will become the direct supervisor over capital market data and will be in charge of approving certain EU prospectuses and all non-EU prospectuses drawn up under EU rules. ESMA also will authorise and supervise certain investment funds and will have a greater role in coordinating market abuse investigations.

The ESAs will take decisions more independently from national interests, with new executive boards with permanent members who will make "quicker, more streamlined and EU-oriented decisions", the Commission said.

Interested parties will be able to ask the Commission to intervene if they disagree with ESA guidelines or recommendations. The reform will also make the funding of the ESAs independent from national supervisors.

Valdis Dombrovskis, vice-president for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union said: "Financial markets are changing fast. We are seeing renewed cross-border integration, new opportunities in fintech and a boom in sustainable and green finance. The EU needs to act as one player so that we can stay ahead of the curve. More integrated financial supervision will make the economic and monetary union more resilient. These pragmatic proposals will also make it easier for our companies to operate cross-border and build consumer trust."

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