The ESA review: progress in the making?

ABBL Published 05.10.2018

Work on the omnibus regulation regarding the review of the European Supervisory Authorities progressed over the summer and the first days of Autumn. Indeed MEPs discovered the draft report by co-rapporteurs Burkhard Balz (center-right EPP) and Pervenche Berès (center-left S&D) right before they left for the summer break. Back at the end of August, they had barely a few days to table their amendments. This short timeline alone shows the European Parliament’s determination to make progress and finalize the legislation together with the Council before they leave for the campaign trail in early Spring.

In the meantime the institution has published a staggering 1183 amendments to the Commission proposals and co-rapporteur Burkhard Balz has left for the Executive Board of the German Bundesbank. He has been replaced by another  longstanding and experienced MEP, the Austrian center-right’s Othmar Karas.

During Monday evening’s exchange of views in the parliamentary committee ECON the governance of the ESAs has been a hot topic. In particular the speakers for the liberal group Wolf Klinz and for the Green group Ernest Urtasun expressed their preference for a small and powerful executive board including EU civil servants next to the Board of Supervisors representing the European Member states and national particularities. This view is not shared by a vast majority of the latter nor by everybody in the industry. Another divisive topic proved to be the issue of non action letters while some MEPs welcomed the new proposals to give anti-money laundering powers to the ESAs, a proposal pushed by the Commission following recent scandals in some Member States. Two important issues for the Luxembourg financial center and the industry at large – delegation to third countries and direct supervision of certain prospectuses – have been noticeably absent.

MEPs plan to proceed already to the committee vote in November to be ready to start negotiating with the Council as soon as feasible.

In parallel to the work in progress in the EP, the Council indeed has also seen progress under its current Austrian Presidency. The latter has recently tested a so-called “landing zone paper” with the Member States and is now moving towards more concrete proposals following upcoming written feed-back from the other 27 delegations.

The ESA proposal is definitely moving. Whether it will arrive at destination and what it will look like is not clear yet.

 

 

By Antoine Kremer, ABBL & ALFI Head of European Affairs

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