April 2014

The text of the Directive on the freezing and confiscation of proceeds of crime in the EU has been published in the Official Journal of the EU (OJ). The Directive introduces measures intended to make it easier for national authorities to confiscate and recover the profits made by criminals from cross-border and organised crime. However, the UK has decided not to opt in to the Directive.

The European Banking Authority has updated its webpage on the Joint Committee of the European Supervisory Authorities’ consultation on draft implementing technical standards on the mapping of credit assessments to risk weights of external credit assessment institutions under article 136(1) and (3) of the Capital Requirements Regulation. The deadline for responding to the consultation has been extended from 5 May 2014 to 20 June 2014.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has published a report on card payments in Europe, along with an accompanying press release, which focuses on the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) for cards. The report provides a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the status of card payments in Europe.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has published its methodology and adverse macro-economic scenario for the 2014 EU-wide stress test which is based on a sample of 124 banks. It also published scenarios relating to market risk and securitisation, along with FAQs relating to the stress test. The stress test is designed to assess banks’ resilience to hypothetical external shocks. It will identify remaining vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector and provide a high level of transparency into EU banks’ exposures relating to credit, market, securitisation, sovereign and funding risks. The EBA expects to publish the final results in October 2014.

Market players will be aware that the buy-side has been the subject of a considerable amount of regulatory change in recent years, with more to come both in the UK and in Europe. To help asset managers, depositaries, custodians, administrators and others in the market understand the changing regulatory landscape, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP’s 2014 buy-side seminar will focus on both current issues and the shape of things to come.

The European Commission has published its European Financial Stability and Integration Report for 2013 (the Report). The Report outlines the main market and policy developments in 2013 (and includes certain elements from Q1 2014) that had a direct impact on financial stability and integration. The following points are raised in the Report, namely: