EUROPE – The success of the EU committee of pensions supervisors, CEIOPS, will be judged on how it achieves “supervisory convergence” says European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet.

“Eventually, the success of the Committee of Banking Supervisors (CEBS), CESR and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pension Supervisors (CEIOPS) will be measured mainly on the basis of their ability to deliver effectively on the issue of supervisory convergence,” Trichet said.

He said the progress at the banking committee, which has been more involved in convergence, had been encouraging. But securities committee CESR and CEIOPS had thus far focused more on their advisory roles in drafting legislation.

“Cross-border cooperation among supervisors should become so smooth and effective in practice as to be perceived by the industry as unified action,” Trichet said in an exchange of views on financial policy with the European Commission.

He said CEBS was working to develop a “robust model for coordination and cooperation to be used by all supervisory authorities”.

And Charlie McCreevy, internal markets commissioner, told the same meeting that “full use” should be made of the three committees to “enhance cross-border cooperation between supervisors”.

Trichet added that any regulation on hedge funds should be at the international level.

He said: “As regards asset management, one of the main issues seems to be whether regulatory treatment at the EU level targeted specifically at the category of hedge funds is needed.

“Whereas I think it is legitimate to reflect on the pros and cons of possible regulation, I strongly believe that any regulatory response, if it proves necessary, should be taken in a coordinated manner at the international level (with particular attention to the transatlantic level), given the global nature of the hedge fund industry.”