View more on these topics

Progress sluggish for Euro single market

Rapid progress is needed if the European Union is to meet its objective of a single market for financial services in 2005, according to the “half-term” review of the EU financial services action plan last week.

The plan was launched in 1999. President of the Euro-pean Commission Romano Prodi stressed the importance of achieving a single market but questioned the “overall pace of delivery of the action plan&#39s many proposals”.

Speaking at the review meeting in Brussels, FSA chairman Howard Davies said the plan has been helpful in focusing political energy but that success could not simply be measured by the number of directives passed.

The main priorities include agreeing the investment ser-vices directive, which should be presented soon by com-missioner for internal markets Fritz Bolkestein.

A report commissioned by some of Europe&#39s leading financial services firms, including Axa and BNP Paribas, claims that a single market would boost economic growth by 0.5 per cent, save the mutual fund industry e5bn or £3bn and lead to increased competition.

Prodi said: “This year, the council and the European parliament will have to adopt 10 or so legislative acts if we are to meet our targets. Will they manage?”

Bolkestein says: “The most striking observation is the degree of consensus on the importance of the overall objectives, on how to get there and on how crucial it is to do so quickly.”

Recommended

FSA turning tables on fund managers

Choosing an investment fund is now apparently easier than ever before.Investors need to simply log on to the FSA&#39s comparative tables website, select one of the six available fund sectors and rank their short list in alphabetical order or in terms of charges.Past performance, risk and investment process need not play a part in the […]

Government defeated on annuity bill for second time

The Government has been defeated at the Committee Stage of Conservative MP David Curry&#39s private member annuity reform bill with the Labour chairman of the committee voting against the Government.The Pensions Annuity (Amendment) Bill calls for the annuity regime to be reformed, scrapping the obligation on the consumer to purchase an annuity with their entire […]

Part-time pensioners

Much of the discussion about retirement is framed in a rather gloomy way. For example, one problem is that the period of retirement for many people is getting steadily longer.A longer period after work does pose challenges for the individual. All other things being equal, someone aiming at a given income for a longer period […]

TBO prototype multi-tie protection deals on net

TBO Corporate Benefits Consultants is setting up an online multi-tie distributor for term insurance and mortgage protection as a prototype for a full multitied adviser post-polarisation.Monevate will offer comparative quotes and straight-through processing for term and mortgage protection by June.Stakeholder and Isas will follow. Full online multi-tied advice will be offered if polarisation is scrapped.Consumers […]

Oil industry: only the fittest will survive

The actions of OPEC have forced the oil supply to fall and producers to cut costs and rationalise, says Richard Hulf In an interview with journalist Alexis Xydias, Richard Hulf, manager of the Artemis Global Energy Fund, explains the impact of the fall in the oil price on energy companies. Alexis also quizzes Richard on […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment