The Markets4Europe roadshow made its stop on 25 February 2020 in Luxembourg to raise the awareness of the Luxembourg financial sector stakeholders of the importance of fully integrated capital markets within the European Union.
While the Luxembourg financial sector certainly denotes itself through its high interconnectedness with other financial markets within the EU and is, as such, more inclined to grasp the relevance of achieving a real Capital Markets Union in Europe, many of the actors present on the ground lack the full picture of practical hurdles and operational barriers that inhibit the creation of such a project.
With high-profile keynote speakers and carefully selected panelists, the Markets4Europe roadshow event certainly achieved that, digging through the myriad of topics relevant in the integration process of the CMU – investment culture (or the lack thereof in Europe) as well as the bridging between lending-centric economies and capital markets-fuelled economies.
Following an introduction by the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna, who stressed the importance of sustainable activities in capital markets, going so far as to suggest a change in name of the CMU to include the notion of sustainable, the European Banking Federation CEO, Wim Mijs provided an overview of the Markets4Europe campaign. In front of a market-representative audience, composed of C-level bankers, lawyers, consultants and public officials, Mijs focused on the important steps that need to be taken in order for the CMU to become a reality.
The Luxembourg leader on the Markets4Europe campaign, Viviane Reding focused her introduction on the criticality of the CMU in the current market and political environment. The Luxembourg Stock Exchange CEO, Robert Scharfe, who is also one of the specialist CEOs leading the campaign, expertly continued the discussions by guiding his panel in examining the importance of sustainable finance, investor education and investor protection. With representatives from the banking sector (Colette Dierick, ING), the fund industry (Corinne Lamesch, ALFI), as well as the public sector (Klaus Regling, ESM), the panel debated passionately about the current investor protection rules and their usefulness in fostering a new investment culture in Europe.
The event continued with a keynote speech by Guy Hoffmann, chairman of the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association, presenting the importance of the CMU when it comes to the financing of the economy and its corporate stakeholders. By stressing the importance of a workable securitisation framework and efficiently addressing the financing needs of corporate clients in their different endeavours, this presentation introduced the focus of the next panel which concentrated, under the moderation of Nicolas Mackel (Luxembourg for Finance), on the financing gaps which exist in Luxembourg for corporates in different stages of their lifecycle. Against the background of the current low-interest environment, Luc Frieden (Chamber of Commerce), Denis Kiselev (Snapswap), and Roger Havenith (European Investment Fund) considered their respective standpoints and shared their significant experience on the subject. It is very clear that integrated capital markets are essential to ensure that the corporate financing needs of different corporations are met with the right tools. Banks have a crucial role in ensuring the intermediation between the corporates and the markets.
ABBL CEO, Yves Maas, gave closing remarks, highlighting the important part that banks play in capital markets and the financing efforts of tomorrow.
The conference concluded with a networking lunch kindly sponsored by Deloitte, excellent hosts to an extraordinary event.