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French and Italian financial markets call for prompt and clear negotiation on UK’s EU exit

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Banks, insurance and asset management companies in the French and Italian financial sectors have again underlined their disappointment following the British choice for Brexit and stressed the need to further strengthen European financial integration.

At a meeting in Paris, industry representatives from both countries underlined the need for urgent decisions, with prompt recourse to article 50 of the EU Treaty, on the basis that an extended period of uncertainty would have extremely unfavourable impact for economic activity and financial markets.

They believe that a clear, unequivocal agreement, which respects the integrity of internal market, is essential and would see the enforcement of a third country regime for the UK, similar to other economic partners of EU, with consequently the loss of the European passport for companies established in the UK.
 
This, they believe, would maintain a level playing field for prudential regulation and supervision by the European authorities, with reciprocity for financial activities.

The head of the French delegation Bernard Spitz, chairman of the French Insurance Association (FFA), and the head of the Italian Federation Luigi Abete, chairman of the Italian Banking Insurance & Finance Federation (FeBAF), jointly underlined the importance of a strengthened French-Italian dialogue on financial services in the upcoming months, and the need for a consolidation of financial Europe and particularly for a reinforced integration within the Eurozone.
 
The French and Italian parties have elected the following priorities:

  • Strengthen the autonomy of the European financial industry: one of the conditions is the return on the EU territory of the clearing of Euro-denominated transactions as well as the relocation of the European Banking Agency’s headquarters;
  • Enhance the attractiveness of the financial marketplaces of continental Europe, in order to ensure financial independence of the European economy, through the control of market and clearing infrastructures, welcome of non-European financial companies in the EU territory, and facilitation of employment in the financial sector;
  • Accelerate Capital Markets Union, by strengthening tools enabling better use of savings for financing long term investment, developing market financing mechanisms to support the growth of companies, especially SMEs, and boosting a securitisation with truly enforceable rules;
  • Finalise the Banking Union around the European Central Bank;
  • Curb overregulation and strictly enforce the “better regulation” principle, while start thinking about framing shadow banking activities;
  • Finalise, for banks and insurance companies, a prudential regulation in line with the B20 recommendations, thus allowing financial actors to fully play their supporting role to growth and employment – namely of young people – in Europe. In this respect, it is crucial that the ongoing work of the Basel Committee do not lead to higher capital requirements for European banks, and that the revision of Solvency 2 for improved calibration facilitate the financing of the economy.


Joint proposals on these topics will soon be presented to the European Commission. 


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