British business groups have largely welcomed a new report from Brussels this week on plans to put together a capital markets union (CMU) by 2019.
The European Commission’s “action plan” aims to make it easier for markets across the EU to raise funds from within the Single Market.
Sir Jonathan Hill, the European Commissioner for financial stability, financial services and the capital markets union, said yesterday that the Commission would work in the coming years to “identify the barriers to cross-border flow of investment” and “work out how to overcome them step by step”.
Among Hill’s initial proposals are lower capital requirements for EU banks, an overhaul of the prospectus directive relating to initial public offerings (IPOs) and a new consultation into whether new regulations introduced after the financial crisis had made it more difficult for businesses to invest.
British Bankers’ Association (BBA) chief executive Anthony Browne said that the UK banking sector was “strongly supportive” of Hill’s plans. “We welcome the pragmatic and proportionate balance between legislative and non-legislative approaches within the action plan,” he said.
“Progress towards 2019 must be both visible and measurable, which is why the clear building blocks and deadlines set out today are a huge step in the right direction,” Browne added.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also praised the action plan, with director for competitive markets Matthew Fell saying the CMU “can play an important role in connecting growing businesses with the finance they need to invest, scale-up and export”.
He added: “The Commission has rightly recognised that to make Europe more competitive, it should support market-driven solutions. Regulation should be used only where it will really makes a difference