News roundup: ECB eyes changes to euro clearing supervision; banks turn their attention to Frankfurt

FINANCIAL TIMES SPECIAL REPORT ON BREXIT AND LUXEMBOURG

A new series of articles published by the Financial Times delves deeper into the potential gains that Brexit can deliver for Luxembourg, a small country of 570,000 residents where roughly 1 in every 30 individuals works in financial services. See the full series of articles here. For more information, please also see my May 2017 report on the effects of Brexit on Europe’s financial services industry, which includes special coverage on Luxembourg, Frankfurt, Paris, and other select cities.

MORE FINANCE FIRMS LOCK SIGHTS ON FRANKFURT AND OTHER EUROPEAN CITIES

US-based investment bank Morgan Stanley is nearing a decision  to establish its new European hub in Frankfurt, according to Steven Arons and Gavin Finch of Bloomberg. While the bank will retain some jobs in London, it is relocating securities trading activities to Frankfurt and its asset management business to Dublin. Goldman Sachs is planning a similar shift to Frankfurt, according to Tino Andresen of Bloomberg, with plans currently in place to double its current Frankfurt-based staff of 200, with the potential to add as many as 1,000 workers in the German city as it works to ensure continued access to European clients. Neil Callanan and Jack Sidders of Bloomberg report that JP Morgan Chase is also making new investments, including a new $139 million office building in Dublin, which could host upwards of 1,000 employees, and is eyeing property in Amsterdam as well.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN EURO-DENOMINATED CLEARING

June 18, 2017 — Jonathan Ford of the Financial Times (UK) reported that the European Commission has proposed “some form of joint supervision,” in which clearinghouses based in the United Kingdom can continue to clear euro-denominated securities and derivatives, albeit with the caveat that “systemically important” central counterparties such as LCH Clearnet and ICE, which handle such financial instruments as interest rate and equity derivatives and credit default swaps, to agree to parallel supervision by British financial regulators and their EU counterparts.

June 22, 2017 — Hayley McDowell of The Trade (UK) wrote that French markets regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers “has called for reforms to the governance and central role of the [European Securities and Markets Authority],” including a central role in the “directive supervision of … central counterparties.”

June 23, 2017 — Alessandro Speciale of Bloomberg (US) has reported that the European Central Bank is actively seeking an amendment to its authorizing legislation that would expand its mandate to include “clear legal competence” over extra-EU clearinghouses handling euro-denominated transactions. According to the Bank of International Settlements, “about 75 percent of trading in euro-denominated interest-rate swaps takes place in Britain.”

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About Jared Angle

I am an international relations professional based in the Washington, DC metropolitan region, specializing in European politics, international economics, and political risk analysis. I hold an MA in International Relations from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC, and currently work in the field of international trade policy.

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