Monday 17 December 2018

France wants tighter foreign investment bank access to EU


Foreign investment banks must not get a blank check to operate in the EU and should face tighter controls, France has told the bloc's member states in a document seen by Reuters.

The EU proposed a draft law last December to tighten wholesale market access to trade stocks, bonds, currencies and derivatives for institutional customers in the bloc.

But in a "non-paper" or discussion document likely to send a chill through Britain's financial sector ahead of Brexit, France said the draft law does not go far enough.

"Even though this is a first useful step, it fails to address the many shortcomings identified in this non-paper," the document said.

EU financial services market access is granted under the EU's "equivalence" system.

This is where Brussels deems a foreign firm's home rules to be as strict as those policed in the bloc.

Unless Britain gets the bespoke EU trade deal it wants, its financial firms would have to rely on equivalence after it leaves the bloc next March.

France believes that the equivalence system was not designed to deal with a major financial centre like London on the EU's doorstep.


Job fears at drugs watchdog

Europe's drug watchdog is bracing for higher-than-anticipated staff departures due to its Brexit-induced move to Amsterdam, raising pressure on the agency that oversees medication safety for about 500 million people.

A host of issues, including the effect of local labour laws on short-term contracts, could boost employee losses at the European Medicines Agency beyond 19pc, the level it estimated last year, Executive Director Guido Rasi said.

Hitting that target will be "very challenging", he said.


May to meet business leaders

British business leaders will meet UK Prime Minister Theresa May tomorrow to discuss Brexit and investment, May's spokeswoman said.

The meeting will discuss how the UK can attract more investment and what practical support the government can offer, a source added.

Monday's meeting at May's Downing Street office will be the latest in a series of such meetings with business leaders ahead of Britain's exit from the European Union next year. Sky News said bosses from Aston Martin, BT, GlaxoSmithKline and Tesco would be among those attending.


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