Policy brief

Defining Europe's Capital Markets Union

The new European Commission has signalled that it will work to create a ‘capital markets union’. This is understood as an agenda to expand the non-ban

Publishing date
12 November 2014
Authors
Nicolas Véron

The new European Commission has signalled that it will work to create a ‘capital markets union’. This is understood as an agenda to expand the non-bank part of Europe’s financial system, which is currently underdeveloped. The aim in the short term is to unlock credit provision as banks are deleveraging, and in the longer term, to favour a more diverse, competitive and resilient financial system.

Direct regulation of individual non-bank market segments (such as securitisation, private placements or private equity) might be useful at the margin, but will not per se lead to significant capital markets development or the rebalancing of Europe’s financial system away from the current dominance by banks. To reach these goals, the capital markets union agenda must be broadened to address the framework conditions for the development of individual market segments.

Six possible areas for policy initiative are, in increasing order of potential impact and political difficulty:

  1. regulation of securities and specific forms of intermediation;
  2. prudential regulation, especially of insurance companies and pension funds;
  3. regulation of accounting, auditing and financial transparency requirements that apply to companies that seek external finance;
  4. a supervisory framework for financial infrastructure firms, such as central counterparties, that supports market integration;
  5. partial harmonisation and improvement of insolvency and corporate restructuring frameworks;and
  6. partial harmonisation or convergence of tax policies that specifically affect financial investment.

About the authors

  • Nicolas Véron

    Nicolas Véron is a senior fellow at Bruegel and at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC. His research is mostly about financial systems and financial reform around the world, including global financial regulatory initiatives and current developments in the European Union. He was a cofounder of Bruegel starting in 2002, initially focusing on Bruegel’s design, operational start-up and development, then on policy research since 2006-07. He joined the Peterson Institute in 2009 and divides his time between the US and Europe.

    Véron has authored or co-authored numerous policy papers that include banking supervision and crisis management, financial reporting, the Eurozone policy framework, and economic nationalism. He has testified repeatedly in front of committees of the European Parliament, national parliaments in several EU member states, and US Congress. His publications also include Smoke & Mirrors, Inc.: Accounting for Capitalism, a book on accounting standards and practices (Cornell University Press, 2006), and several books in French.

    His prior experience includes working for Saint-Gobain in Berlin and Rothschilds in Paris in the early 1990s; economic aide to the Prefect in Lille (1995-97); corporate adviser to France’s Labour Minister (1997-2000); and chief financial officer of MultiMania / Lycos France, a publicly-listed online media company (2000-2002). From 2002 to 2009 he also operated an independent Paris-based financial consultancy.

    Véron is a board member of the derivatives arm (Global Trade Repository) of the Depositary Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), a financial infrastructure company that operates globally on a not-for-profit basis. A French citizen born in 1971, he has a quantitative background as a graduate from Ecole Polytechnique (1992) and Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris (1995). He is trilingual in English, French and Spanish, and has fluent understanding of German and Italian.

    In September 2012, Bloomberg Markets included Véron in its second annual 50 Most Influential list with reference to his early advocacy of European banking union.

     

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