Europe treads softly in challenging big banks' power

Comment on this story


EU Flag

http://www.sxc.hu/

Brussels/London - Europe will consider how to challenge the dominance of its big banks this week, but any new rules to isolate risky trading will take years to begin and there will be no attempt to split off market betting from deposit taking.

In a blueprint expected on Wednesday, the European Commission will outline how trading by banks can be walled off from customers' cash, but the debate among countries, many of whom are sceptical of the need to change, starts only in 2015.

After the collapse of Wall Street's Lehman Brothers in 2008, world leaders pledged to tackle banks that were 'too big to fail' to shield taxpayers.

Yet in the more than six years of crisis that toppled banks in Europe and sucked in countries from Greece to Spain, little progress has been made, and the size of banks such as Germany's Deutsche Bank or France's BNP Paribas remains Europe's Achilles heal in the event of another crash.

Their vast scale is also blamed for fuelling risky trading and growth in the multi-trillion dollar derivatives market.

The proposed new rules, which are still many years off, signal that European policymakers have largely backed down in the face of banking resistance.

On Wednesday, the European Commission is set to outline its proposals for a new law, including a ban on trading by banks using their own funds and separating other types of trading from the 'safe' side of banking - taking deposits.

If agreement is reached, which is also in doubt, the rules would only take effect in 2017, some two years after similar action in the United States.

BUCKLE UNDER PRESSURE

The fact that it has taken so long to even broach the issue signals that, except in crisis, the political will is lacking.

“The pressure has been so high from the banks that the Commission's proposal will be very limited. It won't change anything,” said Monique Goyens, director general of consumer group Beuc, who was a member of an advisory group on the issue led by Finnish central bank governor Erkki Liikanen.

“The 'too big to fail' that we wanted to address is not going to be addressed if this does not have more teeth.”

Liikanen recommended mandatory separation of banks' 'proprietary' trading with their own funds and other market betting into a separate legal entity. It would have its own capital to cushion risks but would remain within the bank.

On this count, the EU draft law is set to go further, and, like the Volcker Rule in the United States, ban banks from engaging in such trading, which has shrivelled in any case.

The US rule, however, applies to all banks, while in the EU it will only apply to lenders above a certain size, taking in the top 30 or so banks.

In the EU draft, other types of trading, such as derivatives, should be put in a separate division, as Liikanen suggested.

The United States has a similar set-up, known as the “push out rule”, forcing some commodity, derivatives and equity trades to be walled off.

Crucially, however, the EU law stops short of physically breaking up big banks into retail and wholesale units, a step critics say is needed to remove the too-big-to-fail threat.

Germany and France, which are determined to shield their flagship lenders from any such shake-up, have repeatedly attacked the plans, privately warning Brussels last week not to overstep the mark.

Deutsche Bank, one of Europe's largest banks, has total assets of more than 1.6 trillion euros - two thirds the size of Germany's economy - and lends to the country's top companies.

France has resisted interference in the structure of its big banks, including BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole. Paris sees these 'national champions' as critical in financing their economy as well as a bulwark against foreign investors making inroads into its financial system.

France and Germany want the European Commission to soften the separation rules for non-proprietary trading to avoid crimping the flow of credit.

They also do not want to ban proprietary trading.

'NUCLEAR' THREAT

Britain will also oppose any law from Brussels that would crimp its ability to decide how to deal with its biggest banks.

It wants the retail arms of banks to hold more capital, with some risky trading kept within the wholesale arm.

The result is a patchwork of different reforms globally.

In Europe, with elections to the European Parliament in May and a changeover of the EU Commission's top officials later in the year, nothing will happen for now.

“This proposal serves only as food for discussion and will have to be presented to the newly elected European Parliament,” said one EU official.

Germany and France's line of argument closely follows that of industry, which claims that regulatory interference could damage their ability to lend to the economy.

But Thierry Philipponnat, a former investment banker who leads Finance Watch, which campaigns for tighter regulation, challenged this.

“European banks lent only 28 percent of their balance sheets to households and corporations, with the remaining going into financial markets and, in particular, derivatives,” he said, pointing to an 80 percent surge in the size of the banking system during the decade to 2011.

“The paradox is that if you are big, you get implicit state support because you are too big to fail. And so you grow even bigger with risky activity that makes the entire system more fragile.”

Even banking lobbyists privately concede that big banks pose a risk.

“We've done the equivalent of closing a few coal-powered power stations but created a number of nuclear reactors,” said one.

“If they go belly up, God help us.” - Reuters


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks
esk123
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 37 and 45.
View Profile
GypseyTraveller
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
opsoek23
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 34.
View Profile
Smurfette
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
0044MJM
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 60.
View Profile
Persephone101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Crispy990
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 24 and 35.
View Profile
Judith78
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
Dandelion
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
sweets1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
LielaZ
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
Warmsmilewarmheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
CTBLONDE
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Plattelandsenooi3
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Okidoki_63
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
ShanJo
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Feisty_but_heartfelt
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 50.
View Profile
Lissa25
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 31.
View Profile
elle_339
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
KittyCat_69
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
jinxie_007
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
HenrietteF
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
Angelwinz
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
mistika
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 66.
View Profile
LJC777
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Kay_722
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Midcentury_girl
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Romantic_Gal
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Unicorn17
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 26.
View Profile
Chriz_1985
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Biancs_79
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Dee37
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Cathwhite
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Maybe70
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
siavolstrooi
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 55.
View Profile
Bienkie01
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 48.
View Profile
optimistic_36
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
sonskyn27
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
jamielief
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
Mo1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 43.
View Profile
MissMoneypenny_13
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
PowerPrincess
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
Doeksa
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 39.
View Profile
Denie_28
I'm a 50 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 53.
View Profile
dragonfly86
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 35.
View Profile
KW82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
kosmoskatinka
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Isabel_33
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 42.
View Profile
miesies
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
JanieL
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
Hopeful_dreamer
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Minky3001
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 40.
View Profile
Bluebell531
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
liefilyf
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
Girlonabike
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Leigh1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Jenny84
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 40.
View Profile
SheBear
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 51.
View Profile
MissCurious_M
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
LimitlessSoul
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
AgentI
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
TuffLove
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Bastet_11
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 48.
View Profile
sexyhair
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Ckay1011
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 45.
View Profile
Moze008
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
FoXyLaDy444
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
FootballCrazy
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 50.
View Profile
Is_jy_opreg
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 55.
View Profile
nirina
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Dollie81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Vuurvliegie1974
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 39 and 47.
View Profile
JanineB
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 47.
View Profile
Lesel
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Bluelily77
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 50.
View Profile
capenewbie
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Optimistic2014
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Bosnimf007
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 35.
View Profile
Sale_0084
I'm a 58 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
Fire_and_Ice81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
Angdt
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
EMT2014
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Lady_101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 38.
View Profile
Artistixoxo
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 28.
View Profile
JillieB
I'm a 61 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
Kelbels0201
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
Rarefind
I'm a 54 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 52 and 63.
View Profile
FaiRy9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
Apple_853
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
your_wildest_dreams
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Infin8
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 42.
View Profile
Bebe1000
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 57.
View Profile
SA04
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Lala8610
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 32.
View Profile
Pinky340
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
Vredelief
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 34.
View Profile
Officer_Gentleman
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
LovingSerenity
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 45.
View Profile
CosmicHero
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 53.
View Profile
pinsnow
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
Banker009
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 46.
View Profile
Denali
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Yvard
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 44.
View Profile
versl_550
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
Brend86
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 32.
View Profile
willing_915
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
Pat321
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
Natureboykie
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 43 and 64.
View Profile
MLACOME0147
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 79.
View Profile
dinnerfortwo
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
plodof
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
Bruce_308
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
jacuwig
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
Chas008
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
freddic1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
brightday111
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
jsetrader
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
ClassicRocker
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 52.
View Profile
DutchDelight_
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 46.
View Profile
breeze001
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Lastgreatwhite
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
tommy351
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 45.
View Profile
Firefox_771
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
6s6s6s
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
LEANMAN
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
karooboertjie15
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
Axiomate
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 41.
View Profile
Fred58
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
kannieworrynie
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Guardian_24
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 43.
View Profile
SingleNSearching60
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
CL4ptp
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
Coolfun
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Propriety
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
stumpjumper
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
cknneth111
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Natural123
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
JPretoria
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
Ironstein06
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
rjscm
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 100.
View Profile
wiedahunk
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
dddmelw
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
Alachison
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
HappyEnding
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 45.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
Stand64
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 55.
View Profile
Stdave
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
reinor
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 61.
View Profile
Kiwiana
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Smartboy_102
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 57.
View Profile
Seriouslylooking1949
I'm a 65 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 56 and 66.
View Profile
Frank79
I'm a 35 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 36.
View Profile
Kitchenslave
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Wnd_112
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 37.
View Profile
cccdovy
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
Zest4Life021
I'm a 75 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 60.
View Profile
Suidwester27
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Lonomor
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
Ons2alleen
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 29.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
gavinzn
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
daniel101
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
OohCharles
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
zachki
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
DaveB_791
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Soulmindbody
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
lvebird53
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
naughty_sporty
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
richy10
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 70.
View Profile
Lockstep
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 49.
View Profile
TLS11
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Gambino_Family
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 70.
View Profile
captainkid
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 56.
View Profile
Jericho2010
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
pieterl
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 62.
View Profile
Agent_K1
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 40.
View Profile
KTM1190A
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
FamilyMan72
I'm a 42 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 43.
View Profile
5star
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
goldenhat
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 66.
View Profile
Dn212
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
TheRealMrRight
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
BossMorne
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Marius_P
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 55.
View Profile
Andy_Leo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
funsunsea0007
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
VirgoMan1970
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
ScottRanger1987
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile

Business Directory