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FACTBOX-EU steps up pace on financial regulation

April 21 (Reuters) - The EU’s executive European Commission has been stepping up the pace on proposals for financial regulation reform to make markets safer for investors. [ID:nL4220529]

The United States is looking at similar measures as part of wider global efforts spearheaded by the G20 group of industrial and developing countries. [ID:nN25438827]

This week, the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg, France, is set to adopt new laws on credit rating agencies and insurance, with new bank capital rules due in May.

Following is the latest on key measures being adopted or drafted:

FINANCIAL SUPERVISION

A high-level group headed by former Bank of France Governor Jacques de Larosiere has recommended setting up two pan-EU supervisory bodies, one to oversee systemic risk, the other for day-to-day supervision. Britain has signalled unease about the plan. EU leaders, however, agreed in March it would be the basis of reform and they will give political endorsement to a new system by the end of this year. [ID:nL4481779]

TOXIC DEBT

The European Commission has published guidelines for banks and financial institutions to deal with toxic assets such as mortgage-backed securities. [ID:nLP840318]

BANK CAPITAL RULES An informal deal between EU states and the European Parliament on a draft law introducing new bank capital rules is being held up by attempts to make last-minute changes. EU member state representatives are set to endorse the informal deal on Thursday, however, with parliament voting in May. [ID:nLH570187]

CREDIT RATING AGENCIES

The European Parliament is set to adopt this week a law introducing mandatory registration and direct oversight of credit rating agencies by national securities watchdogs. EU states, which have joint say with the assembly, have given their informal blessing. [ID:nLF422253]

INSURANCE

The Solvency II rules are an overhaul of how insurers make sure they have enough capital to cover risks. The European Parliament is due to adopt the draft law on Wednesday after reaching an informal deal with EU states, which have joint say with the assembly. [ID:nLQ956527]

HEDGE FUNDS AND PRIVATE EQUITY

The European Commission is due on April 29 to publish a draft law introducing direct oversight and reporting requirements for hedge funds and private equity. Critics in the European Parliament say leaked drafts do not go far enough. [ID:nL6670188]

CREDIT DEFAULT SWAPS

Banks have agreed to clear credit default swaps centrally in the European Union from the end of July, to cut risk in markets.

REMUNERATION

The European Commission will make proposals on April 29 containing broad principles. A battle is ongoing inside the EU’s executive arm to propose something more binding rather than just guidelines for member states.

MARKET ABUSE RULES

The Commission has announced that EU rules aimed at stamping out market abuses such as share price manipulation and insider dealing need toughening in light of the credit crunch. [ID:nLK726063] (Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Simon Jessop)

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