Parliament to hold hearing on financial regulation

EU- The European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee is holding a public hearing on the supervision of financial services next Tuesday in the wake of the Enron and WorldCom collapses.

Some of Europe’s top financial regulators and supervisors are attending including Howard Davies, chairman of the UK's Financial Services Authority; Henk Brouwer, executive director of the Dutch central bank and Florence Lustman, secretary general of the insurance regulator Commission de Contrôle des Assurances.

The session will reveal the parliament’s position on possible regulatory and supervisory structures for Europe’s financial markets. At issue is whether the EU needs separate regulators and supervisors for the banking, insurance, pension fund and UCITs industries or whether a single, combined regulator could suffice.

Banking and insurance are typically treated as separate industries and supervised by different entities. Pension funds and the insurance industry are often, but not exclusively, catered for by the same body .

The discussion is only preliminary and only based on a working document. As one insider says: “the important issue is that this is put on the agenda. The European Parliament wants to get a foot in the door and to spell out its position.”

At the same session, Arthur Docters Van Leeuwen, chairman of the new committee of European securities regulators which is responsible for implementing the EU's financial services action plan, will present maiden report to the economic and monetary affairs committee.

And on Wednesday the Danish finance minister Thor Pedersen will outline the Danish presidency’s stance on economic and financial affairs. Like Spain, the previous incumbent, Denmark has stressed its determination to press on with the financial services action plan.

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