The European Parliament should be involved in the drafting of delegated acts, according to Jonathan Hill, who insisted he did not want to “discourage” the development of a Continental pensions market.

Hill, commissioner-designate for financial stability, financial services and capital markets union, faced the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON) for a second confirmation hearing after MEPs said he failed to provide concrete answers.

He said there could be a need to “deepen the single rule book, where necessary” for financial institutions, with changes potentially needed “around solvency rules”, without explicitly referencing the pensions sector.

However, he also said he was “extremely keen” to focus on proportionality of regulation and ensure there was no “excessive” burdens for market participants.

Hill also appeared to accept calls from MEPs for greater parliamentary involvement in level 2 legislative texts, also known as delegated acts, by saying the chamber “clearly” needed to be involved when discussing them.

Delegated acts can allow the Commission to implement regulation without scrutiny, with such an act initially proposed as a means of fleshing out the new risk-evaluation for pensions (REP) regime within the revised IORP Directive.

The UK commission nominee also stressed the need for the launch of the Capital Markets Union (CMU), calling it one of the most exciting opportunities facing the European executive, and one that could allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to attract funding “based on merits, not the country in which they are based”.

“Sixty years after the Treaty of Rome, we are finally seeing the emergence of a single market for capital, the Capital Markets Union,” Hill told MEPs.

Asked about the prospect of ‘too big to fail’ financial institutions, Hill at first only hinted at regulation for parts of the non-banking financial sector, but later gave a firm commitment when questioned by Kay Swinbourne, a UK member from his European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group.

“The whole ‘too big to fail’ question can indeed extend beyond banks, and the example you have given us of the CCPs [central counterparties] is exactly such an example that we do need to look at,” Hill said.

He went on to say that details of a resolution framework for clearing houses, or CCPs, would be published by early next year.

The risk of a CCP defaulting has been highlighted by the financial sector repeatedly, including by Dutch pension manager APG and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.

Pension investors are so far exempt from the need to centrally clear, but the exemption granted under the European Markets Infrastructure Regulation is set to lapse next year.

Burkhard Balz, a German MEP from the European People’s Party, further pressed Hill on his intentions for occupational pensions in light of the difficult investment market.

Hill responded that pensions were “obviously an extremely important area”.

“We need to make sure we don’t do anything to discourage the pension market,” he said, noting that cross-border products allowing savers to “prepare for old age” would be an important part of creating the CMU.

In written answers submitted to ECON yesterday, Hill said the “underdeveloped” pensions market in Europe was acting as a barrier to the CMU and highlighted the benefits of cross-border personal pensions.