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UK absent from talks on single regulator

The EU is again looking at creating a single regulator following a meeting last weekend of European fin-ance ministers which the UK did not attend.

Chancellor Gordon Brown and his German counterpart are understood to have written to the Spanish presidency to push for enhanced regulatory collaboration.

However, they are also believed to oppose the European Central Bank&#39s attempt to expand its role to take on more of a regulatory function.

The EU meeting, to discuss a raft of measures aimed at strengthening European regulation, was held in the Spanish city of Oviedo and was attended by commissioner Fritz Bolkestein.

A statement from the commission spoke of a “convergence of supervisory practices” and the need to “assess how the current patchwork of supervisory practices across the Union could be better co-ordinated at the European level”.

The commission also reaffirmed that international accounting standards will be obligatory for EU companies from 2005. This will see national rules such as FRS17 superseded.

It said forthcoming directives will also cover financial analysts and credit rating agencies to prevent market manipulation by companies with conflicts of interests making skewed recommendations.

A Treasury spokesman said the UK was not at the meeting because of the Budget this week.

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