13 October 2016

Financial Markets in brief – new regulation and other developments

There have been many developments in national and European financial markets regulation during the past month. Among other things, guidance on remuneration in retail banking and new general banking conditions have been published. In this article we provide a brief overview of these and other developments.

Highlighted publications 

Amendment of the Regulation on funding of financial supervision
The Ministry of Finance has amended the Regulation on funding of financial supervision. References to the market abuse provisions in the Financial Markets Supervision Act (Wft) have been replaced by references to the Market Abuse Regulation. The scope of the regulation and the amount of the levies have not been changed.

General Banking Conditions 2017 published
The Dutch Banking Association (NVB) has amended the General Banking Conditions. Notable amendments are:

  • The revised conditions explicitly state that banks aim to sell understandable products and to provide understandable services.
  • When a bank engages third parties or outsources work to third parties, the bank continues to be the contact and contracting party in dealings with the client.
  • Banks will have to explain why certain costs, such as valuation costs, are necessary. Also, where possible, banks will apply the existing statutory regulations for legal costs instead of charging the costs the bank has actually incurred.

The General Banking Conditions 2017 will take effect on 1 March 2017.

Euronext amends its Rule Book II
A revised version of Euronext’s General Rules for the Euronext Amsterdam Stock Market (Rule Book II) entered into force on 2 September 2016. A number of the provisions that have now been removed from this Rule Book had already been included in Euronext’s harmonised Rule Book and are, therefore, still in force. However, the requirement for issuers to consult with Euronext Amsterdam about amendments to their deed of incorporation or articles of association has actually been abolished.

Capital Markets Union – state of play
The European Commission has published a list of planned initiatives, which includes the following capital market initiatives:

  •  The Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) will be amended to incorporate modifications to the Basel framework as well as to reflect lessons learned from the CRR review. The Commission will publish a proposal in November 2016.
  • The Commission is working on an integrated covered bond framework, which is expected to be adopted by the end of 2017.

The Commission is working on a report on national barriers to free movement of capital and a roadmap for their removal. The Commission expects to publish the report this year.

Prospectus Regulation
The European Parliament adopted amendments to the proposal for the Prospectus Regulation in September 2016. The amendments relate to:

  • the scope of the prospectus obligation
  • exemptions from the obligation to publish a prospectus
  • the contents of the prospectus
  • the prospectus summary
  • the universal registration document
  • the simplified disclosure regime for secondary issues
  • EU growth prospectuses
  • risk factors
  • approval of the prospectus
  • publication of the prospectus

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission will now try and reach agreement on the text of the regulation. The Commission has urged the European Parliament and the Council to reach an agreement by the end of 2016.

The regulation will come into force 20 days after publication. It will apply twelve months after that date.

EBA harmonises definition of default under CRR
On 28 September 2016, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published final guidelines and final draft RTS to harmonise the definition of default for the calculation of credit risk under the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR):

  • The guidelines specify the application of the definition of default and clarify the days past due criterion for default identification, indications of unlikeliness to pay, conditions for the return to non-defaulted status, treatment of the definition of default in external data, application of the default definition in a banking group, and specific aspects related to retail exposures.
  • The RTS specify the conditions for setting the materiality threshold for credit obligations that are past due and harmonise the structure and application of the threshold.

The implementation of the RTS is expected at the latest by end-2020. The guidelines will apply from 1 January 2021.

EBA provides guidance on remuneration in retail banking
On 28 September, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published final guidelines on remuneration policies and practices related to the provision and sale of retail banking products and services to prevent mis-selling of financial products and services and to protect consumers from related risks and reduce conduct costs for financial institutions. The guidelines specify requirements for the design and implementation of remuneration policies and practices in relation to the offering or provision of deposits, payment accounts, payment services, electronic money, residential mortgages, and other forms of credit to consumers by:

  • credit institutions as defined in the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR)
  • creditors and credit intermediaries as defined in the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD)
  • payment institutions as defined in the second Payment Services Directive (PSD2)
  • electronic money institutions as defined in the Electronic Money Directive (EMD)

The guidelines will apply from 13 January 2018.

Position of works council strengthened with regard to pensions
New legislation has come into force amending the Works Councils Act and the Pensions Act.

The new legislation specifies that the employment conditions of a company’s pension scheme are subject to works council approval, irrespective of whether the pension provider is a pension fund, an insurer or a premium pension institution. A non-exhaustive list is included of the elements in the pension agreement that are subject to works council approval. The new legislation also specifies that no works council approval is required if the pension agreement has been entered into with a mandatory industry-wide pension fund.

Other publications 

EC

EP

EBA

ESMA

EIOPA

ECB

Official Journal EU

MinFin

MinSZW

AFM

DNB

Other