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Balls puts pressure on reluctant states

Treasury Economic Secretary Ed Balls has attacked the majority of EU member states for failing to have transposed Mifid, warning that they are undermining European competitiveness.

In a letter to European Commissioner for the internal market and services Charlie McCreevy, Balls urged him to maintain the pressure on the majority of member states which have still not transposed the directive, which comes into force in November.

The letter calls on McCreevy to “maintain pressure against member states that are undermining the EU’s competitiveness by dragging their heels over implementation.”

Only the UK, Ireland and Romania have fully transposed Mifid while Lithuania has transposed the level one directive. The deadline for this passed in January.

The majority of member states plan to have completed transposition by the end of the summer, ahead of the November 1 start date, but Balls says the pressure must be kept up on these countries to ensure that they are ready.

His letter says: “From my contacts within the UK-based industry, I know that firms and authorities have put significant effort into ensuring timely preparation, as have those in a number of other EU countries.

“It would damage the reputation of Mifid if those firms which have stretched themselves, often at considerable cost, to be ready on time are unable to extract the benefits.”

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