EU commissioner sets out regulatory agenda

Michel Barnier
Michel Barnier

European commissioner for internal markets & services Michael Barnier says he hopes for a swift agreement on new rules for investor compensation schemes.

The move is part of the commissioner’s work that will look at a number of a consumer/retail investor issues in the first half of 2012.

Barnier says it will look into disclosure rules for retail investment products, to ensure consumers “have access to clear and comparable information about investment opportunities”.

He says there will also be a review of the Ucits directive which will “among other things, strengthen depositaries’ liability”.

The commissioner says he will be looking at possible structural measures for the banking sector, warning it would not ’reproduce’ the UK approach, but was a “tribute” to the influence of the Vickers report. He says he will also be looking at the shadow banking sector.

Barnier says: “We need financial regulation to promote financial stability. And we need to sort out the problems facing the eurozone.

“But these actions alone won’t be enough to exit the crisis.”

He adds: “Let’s try to make 2012 the year when we finally get the debt crisis under control and put Europe back on the path to recovery.

“To do that, we need the strong input of the City. One of Europe’s key assets on the global stage.

“The EU must not hinder the City’s energy. But I am sure it is in the City’s interest, and the wider British interest, to play the European game.”