Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2007-03-28-Speech-3-081"

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"Mr President, honourable Members, the European financial sector has changed dramatically over the last few years. Capital markets have expanded and are increasingly integrated. New investment techniques have emerged. The consolidation of the banking sector has accelerated. Pan-European conglomerates now play a major role on all national markets. The Interinstitutional Monitoring Committee on the Lamfalussy process will also complete its final report in 2007. I hope it will contain useful recommendations as to how the committees of supervisors can improve their work and deepen their cooperation. This would place them in an even better position to address possible financial stability issues in the future. Towards the end of this year, the Commission will also produce its own assessment of the way in which the Lamfalussy process works. Clearly, the functioning of the committees of supervisors will be a crucial aspect of this overall assessment. I look forward to hearing Parliament’s views. I am convinced that through close cooperation between Parliament, the Council and the Commission we can move this debate forward. Conclusions will need to be drawn from the various ongoing activities. I am open to suggestions on how to go about this. I think, however, that it would be too early to create a committee of wise persons at this stage. I would rather await the completion of the different initiatives later this year before envisaging the next move. Let me conclude. EU financial markets are strong. We do not have a broken supervisory system in need of repair. Major progress has been made over the last few years in terms of modernising EU supervisory arrangements, but further improvements are also necessary. They are the consequence of integration. On this we are all agreed. We should continue our efforts to make the Lamfalussy structure the regulatory vehicle for delivering the effective, efficient and converged supervision required by a single market in financial services. Work has been set in motion in order to determine how the Lamfalussy structure and our financial stability arrangements can be further improved to meet the demands that arise from closer European integration. I look forward to discussing with Parliament in due course what precise initiatives may be required to respond to the problems that have been identified, so as to equip our European financial sector with the best possible supervisory system. This is critical, because top-class supervisory and regulatory structures are crucial for long-term EU capital market competitors in the global economy. These changes are positive for the efficiency of our financial industry and should be welcomed. But they also present new challenges to policymakers. We must ensure that our arrangements for financial supervision are adapted to the needs of a more integrated EU financial sector. This is vital for financial stability and for the competitiveness of our industry. Greater cooperation and convergence between European supervisors is of utmost importance in this context. It has been one of my priorities since I joined the Commission and will remain so until the end of my mandate. Let me briefly recall what the Commission has already done to foster a more effective and efficient supervisory system in Europe. Under the Lamfalussy process it has created European committees of supervisors in the areas of securities, banking and insurance. These committees have already led to greater supervisory cooperation and more convergence in supervisory practices. I expect them to continue and accelerate work in this regard. It is crucial for achieving coordination in crisis situations. The Commission has pushed for more streamlined supervision of large financial institutions, in particular through the establishment of the consolidating supervisor concept in the capital requirements directives. The consolidating supervisor is responsible for ensuring proper information exchange between supervisors, central banks and finance ministries in the event of a crisis. His role is key and I therefore intend to propose further and more ambitious steps towards consolidating supervision in the area of insurance in the framework of the Solvency II project. In investment services, we have the principle of more central control, with some limited exceptions for branches. In order to deal more specifically with financial stability issues, my departments have set work in motion on five interconnected areas on which clarity is required if we want to improve our ability to respond to financial crisis. These are liquidity arrangements, crisis management, lender-of-last-resort issues, deposit guarantee schemes and the winding-up of financial institutions. There will be a Commission conference on these matters on 26 June, in which Mrs Berès, as Chairwoman of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, will also take part. The Commission’s efforts have to be seen in conjunction with the work undertaken in the Ecofin Council. A crisis-simulation exercise took place in 2006. As a follow-up to that exercise, the Council will reflect in 2007 on how better to address cross-border crisis situations and clarify burden-sharing arrangements. In addition, the Financial Services Committee has initiated work on issues related to improvement of supervisory efficiency."@en1

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