Britain wins safeguard in EU market rules deal

LONDON Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:51pm BST

The Canary Wharf financial district is seen in east London February 28, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

The Canary Wharf financial district is seen in east London February 28, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain won backing from its European Union partners on Monday to prevent parts of its financial services sector potentially having to relocate to the euro zone.

Britain is already taking the European Central Bank to the bloc's highest court for its policy of requiring clearing houses which help process a significant amount of euro-denominated transactions to be based in the single currency area.

London-based LCH.Clearnet is a major clearer for instruments denominated in euros.

On Monday, EU ambassadors formally endorsed a preliminary deal they reached last Thursday on updating the bloc's MiFID securities trading rules to take into account advances in technology and lessons from the financial crisis.

Britain, as part of agreeing to that deal, called for a new clause to be inserted and this was backed by ambassadors at Monday's meeting.

The clause, shown on a document obtained by Reuters, says no action taken by any regulator or the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) should discriminate against any member state as a venue for the provision of investment services and activities in any currency.

EU finance ministers are set to rubberstamp the MiFID deal on Friday, opening the way for negotiations with the European Parliament on a final text to take effect in 2014 or later.

Ambassadors agreed that Britain's clause could be revisited during those negotiations following concerns expressed by countries such as France.

The deal marks a coup for Ireland in the final two weeks of its presidency, after the draft law was bogged down in disagreements for nearly two years.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Pravin Char)

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Comments (3)
2writestoo wrote:
Merkel by hook or by crook is intent on weakening the position of the UK as one of the worlds leading financial hub. She seems unable to grasp that for all the recent banking debacles the UK is trusted across the globe as an independent place to conduct business. The UK and its core financial institutions have never defaulted on any payments nor has it needed investors to take savage hair cuts since 2008. Merkel at the head of the Euro Zone attempts to persuade investors that the EZ is a safer place to do business, like France perhaps who’s government high officials are being investigated for money laundering, or perhaps to be taken into consideration the barbers shop division of the EZ haircut brigade, Ireland, Greece, Spain , Portugal, Italy, Cyprus. Germany in the corrupt on size fits all economy pays nothing to borrow whilst some of her equal partners such a Greece, Italy and Spain have paid over 7%. It appears that those with any fiscal credibility or sense will not sanction the movement of transactions from a safe and tranquil position to one of conflict and greed. In a nutshell Merkel the global market and those EU countries outside the UZ ( and some in it) would not touch a fiscal market controlled from within the EZ with a barge pole.

Jun 17, 2013 1:26am BST  --  Report as abuse
EssexInvestor wrote:
It says a lot about the unsatisfactory state of Britain’s membership of the EU that our most important industry is threatened in this way. The market in manufactures was opened the day we joined the EEC/EU so Germany, France etc have had an easy run. That our businesses in financial and professional services are still routinely at a disadvantage in the not-so-open EU markets is unacceptable.

We truly would be better off out.

Jun 18, 2013 6:20pm BST  --  Report as abuse
EssexInvestor wrote:
It says a lot about the unsatisfactory state of Britain’s membership of the EU that our most important industry is threatened in this way. The market in manufactures was opened the day we joined the EEC/EU so Germany, France etc have had an easy run. That our businesses in financial and professional services are still routinely at a disadvantage in the not-so-open EU markets is unacceptable.

We truly would be better off out.

Jun 18, 2013 6:20pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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