Inside this Topic Guide
The horizon scanner identifies and summarises key EU legislative and non-legislative initiatives that are likely to impact firms providing financial services in the EU, which are grouped thematically.
It also sets out projected timelines for the finalisation and implementation of relevant legislative initiatives, covering approximately the next 18 months to two years.
This horizon scanner has been prepared as of January 2019. It does not constitute legal advice and is not intended to provide an exhaustive list of all provisions or requirements applicable to such firms during this period.
Today’s regulatory landscape
Following the financial crisis and resulting G20 commitments, the EU embarked on an unprecedented and wide-ranging set of regulatory reforms, including new rules to strengthen financial supervision, tools for bank recovery and resolution, more effective deposit protection and an improved regulatory framework for banks, insurance, securities markets and other sectors.
A decade later, this project is now largely complete, with the last major legislative measure of the post-crisis regulatory agenda, MiFID2, which started to apply from 3 January 2018.
More recently, attention has turned to fine-tuning the EU financial services regulatory framework with the adoption of targeted follow-up actions, ensuring that regulation keeps pace with technological development, and completion of the Banking Union and Capital Markets Union.
Against the backdrop of Brexit, there has also been a renewed push for further EU integration and supervisory convergence with the publication of proposals in September 2017 to give greater supervisory powers to the European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs). Brexit has also brought issues relating to cross-border access to the fore, which are being considered as part of negotiations on various legislative proposals.
Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union
In December 2017, the Commission published a Roadmap for completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), which included adoption of all remaining proposals on Banking Union during 2018 and finalisation of all pending legislative initiatives for Capital Markets Union (CMU) before the end of the current Commission mandate and EU Parliament elections in mid-2019.
Building blocks for CMU
Following the Commission's mid-term review of the Capital Markets Union Action Plan in Summer 2017, the Commission identified a wide-ranging set of measures that it aims to put in place by mid-2019, including:
- legislative proposals for greater EU supervisory convergence, including the Omnibus 3 proposals (published September 2017)
- a legislative proposal for a new prudential regime for investment firms (published December 2017)
- a legislative proposal on assignment of claims and conflicts of laws (published March 2018)
- a FinTech action plan and legislative proposal on crowdfunding (published March 2018)
- a legislative proposal to facilitate cross-border distribution of UCITS and AIFs (published March 2018)
- a legislative proposal on covered bonds (published March 2018)
- an Action Plan on sustainable finance and related measures (published March and May 2018)
Completing the Banking Union
In October 2017, the Commission called for accelerated progress to agree and adopt various measures to complete the Banking Union by 2019, including:
- implementation of the Total Loss Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) standard and amendments to capital requirements to reflect remaining Basel reforms, including the introduction of a leverage ratio and net stable funding ratio (NSFR)
- finalisation of the proposed European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS)
- development of a last resort common fiscal backstop to the Single Resolution Fund, including a credit line from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM)
- new measures to reduce non-performing loans (NPLs)
- supervising large investment firms carrying out bank-like activities in the same way as credit institutions within the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) framework
- the development of sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS)
In his September 2017 State of the Union address, Jean-Claude Juncker also set out his view that all Member States should be encouraged to join the Banking Union.
A year of change for the European Union institutions
2019 is a year of significant change for the European Union institutions. European Parliamentary elections will take place in May 2019, which could shake up the current composition of the European Parliament and may shift the current balance of power lead to a change of political agenda. The outcome of these elections will also influence the appointment of the president of the next European Commission, due to take office from November 2019 for a five-year term. The European Central Bank and European Council are also due to appoint new presidents from November and December 2019, respectively.
In the shorter term, this means that there is a push to agree outstanding legislative files before the current European Parliament’s term ends. If files are not agreed by then, it will become unclear by when they will be finalised.
Looking beyond 2019
Looking further ahead to the period up to 2025, the current Commission has identified medium term possible steps towards completing the Economic and Monetary Union, including:
- Continuous implementation of CMU measures and roll-out of the EDIS
- Transition to the issuance of a "European safe asset", comparable to US Treasury bonds and changes to the regulatory treatment of sovereign exposures
- Creation of a macroeconomic stabilisation function for the Euro area and changes to EU-level accountability and governance frameworks
|Kikun Alo (London)||Laura Douglas (London)|
|María Luisa Alonso (Madrid)||Simon Gleeson (London)|
|Diego Ballon Ossio (London)||Joëlle Hauser (Luxembourg)|
|Chris Bates (London)||Frédérick Lacroix (Paris)|
|Marc Benzler (Frankfurt)||Paul Lenihan (London)|
|Anna Biala (Warsaw)
||Owen Lysak (London)|
|Lucio Bonavitacola (Milan)||Caroline Meinertz (London)|
|Peter Chapman (London)||Stephanie Peacock (London)|
|Simon Crown (London)||Monica Sah (London)|
|Caroline Dawson (London)|
|Stephanie Peacock (London)|
|Stephanie Peacock (London)|
|Owen Lysak (London)|
|Owen Lysak (London)|