Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Fast regulatory response to securities change

Financial Times - 2nd March 2001

Sir

Baron Alexandre Lamfalussy's report on securities market regulation and the single market "Lamfalussy securities plan hits opposition", (February 28) should be welcomed. While we differ on some points, we believe the report proposes important practical solutions to issues that need to be addressed to advance the single market. We also welcome the fact that it does not advocate creation of grand financial regulatory architecture, or a pan-European financial services authority.

Poor implementation and inconsistent interpretation of European Union financial services legislation has stunted the growth of cross-border financial services and capital markets activity. The most notorious example is the investment services directive but there are many more. The recommendation for increased and structured co-operation between national regulators should reduce these problems.

The proposed Securities Committee should lead to a much faster regulatory response to market change. It is in the interests of neither business nor consumers for laws to be designed to regulate yesterday's markets. It is vitally important, however, that the new arrangements guarantee genuine transparency and market consultation. Mr Lamfalussy's proposals will need careful scrutiny but it is to be hoped that neither the European Parliament nor Commission will torpedo these important proposals.

The EU has too often produced apparently well intentioned proposals that fail to deliver practical benefits. The Lamfalussy Report advocates the sort of solutions that have nothing to do with constructing the grand European Project and everything to do with commercial common sense, making it easier for the financial "oil" of commerce to flow across frontiers. EU policymakers would do well to follow this example.

Theresa Villiers MEP, Charles Tannock MEP,
European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium

Howard Flight MP
House of Commons, London, UK.