A single, all-powerful body to regulate European Union financial markets… no. But former Bank of France governor Jacques de Larosiere has recommended changes in legislation and some loss of national regulatory sovereignty.
The President of the high Level Expert Group on EU Financial Supervision said: “I think that if Europe manages to set up this system, which would not be very complicated, and if it can be done fast – the ECB (European Central Bank) wants that, it would give us a credibility in global international eyes that we don’t have today.” Such a credibility deficit was pounced on by transparency campaigners in Brussels. They said half the members in de Larosiere’s group have close links to banks caught up in the crisis. One of the contributors to the critical report called ‘Would You Bank on Them?’ asks further: is it right to pin a sheriff’s badge on anyone the public even figuratively sees as a cattle rustler? Paul de Clerck, Friends of the Earth: “The financial industry has always had a very huge influence over the EC policies. The Commission basically took what the banks are telling them and this you can see is reflected in this advisory group.” Another question is: Who would say when a bank is in trouble? A new European Systemic Risk Council chaired by the ECB, with the Bank of England and others filling important seats would require the backing of all the EU states.