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Tory MPs criticise EU ‘power grab’ on Libor supervision

Conservative MPs have hit out at an EU “power grab” to transfer the supervision of Libor from the FCA to the European Securities and Markets Authority following last year’s rate-rigging scandal.

A draft of the European Commission’s proposals, seen by the Financial Times, aims to move direct supervision of Libor to Esma, which is based in Paris. 

This follows the FCA’s own review into Libor which was published last September. The review set out 10 recommendations to improve the Libor system but suggested keeping Libor based in the UK. 

The EC argues it should control benchmarks that are critical to more than one country. The FT reports it wants the power to seize documents, demand market information, gain access to traders’ systems in commodities markets, suspend trading of the financial instrument that references a benchmark, freeze assets and correct mistakes.

Conservative MP Mark Field says the UK has made Libor reforms in “double-quick” time and the EU is using the issue to attack the City. He says: “It is basically a power grab by the European Commission that should be resisted at all costs. Hopefully, our Treasury team put up a robust fight to make sure the commission does not get away with this.”

Conservative MP Brooks Newmark says: “We have seen enough transfer of powers away from the UK and as it says on the tin, it is a London offering rate, so it should be based in London.”


LEBC launches care fees advice service

LEBC has launched a care fees advice service designed to help people plan how they will pay for long-term care. According to the national IFA firm, some 53,000 people who go into care each year have to self fund.  The new service uses a cashflow tool to give customers and their advisers a “strategic overview” […]


Govt urged to ‘hard-wire’ shopping around standards for auto-enrolment

Policymakers are being urged to “hard-wire” minimum shopping around standards into automatic enrolment pension rules. In March, the Association of British Insurers introduced its “retirement choices” code of conduct. The code, which is mandatory for ABI members, is designed to provide savers with clear and consistent information about their options when they reach retirement.  Hargreaves […]

How low can mortgage rates go?

The launch of the Funding for Lending scheme may not have had a huge impact on net lending but it is had a big impact on lower LTV mortgage rates. The latest Bank of England figures show mortgages and business net lending fell by £300m in Q1 2013, compared with the same period last year. […]


HMRC publishes new lifetime allowance pension protection rules

HMRC has published details of a new “individual” protection regime which will allow people with pension savings worth more than the new £1.25m lifetime allowance to protect the value of their pot and continue contributing to a pension scheme, subject to the relevant charge.  Chancellor George Osborne confirmed the Government will cut the lifetime allowance […]


Case study: administration — managing group life schemes

Our client leads the global market in high-tech electronics manufacturing and digital media. The trustees of the company’s final salary pension scheme insure death-in-service lump sum and dependants’ pension death benefits for active employees, as well as dependants’ pension benefits for deferred members (those who have left service).


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