Plenary sessions of the European Parliament deal with a wide spectrum of different issues. There are mostly legislative reports that have worked up their way from the twenty parliamentary standing committees or resolutions initiated by political groups. Financial services issues by far don’t make it to every plenary.
This time around proved different. It was the final plenary of the European Parliament’s 2014-2019 term and a whole bonanza of financial services issues covered last week’s agenda. The whole Monday afternoon and evening was relevant to the financial sector:
- Joint debate on cross-border distribution of collective investment funds (directive and regulation)
- Joint debate on the banking package (a.k.a. the risk reduction measures including amendments to the capital requirements directive and regulation as well as to the bank recovery and resolution directive)
- Sovereign Bond Backed Securities (SBBS)
- Joint debate on the European System of Financial Supervision (including the review of the European Supervisory Authorities)
- Joint debate on the prudential supervision of investment firms (directive and regulation)
Financial services were back on Wednesday with a joint debate on creating an EU framework for covered bonds as well as on Thursday with:
- Disclosures relating to sustainable investments and sustainability risks
- Clearing obligations, reporting requirements and risk mitigation techniques for OTC derivatives, and trade repositories
- Authorization of CCPs and recognition of third-country CCPs
A thrilling week one would suspect. Not so. Nearly all texts were the fruit of past inter-institutional negotiations that were rubberstamped by the European Parliament’s full gathering of MEPs. Nevertheless, this process is important for the financial sector as it closes the texts and gives certainty to what it is to come. Banks and the rest of the financial center can now prepare. In times of Brexit (or not) this is more appreciated than ever.
By Antoine Kremer, ABBL & ALFI Head of European Affairs