EU financial centres break new ground
In this critical period for Europe, the role of a robust network of financial centres to leverage the necessary value of financial services to the economies of the EU was debated on Wednesday 6 September, at the first conference of the European Financial Centres Roundtable. The new grouping of leading financial centres in the EU welcomed Commissioner Michel Barnier’s comments at the conference, supporting the contribution financial services make to the wider economy.
In his keynote speech at the conference, held at the Representation to the EU of the Free State of Bavaria, Commissioner Michel Barnier said:
“European financial centres have a key role and must be able to rise to today's challenges for the European economy. We need to make sure that people regain confidence in the financial sector. And that the financial sector supports growth and investment."
He continued: "My agenda is to put in place European rules in support of these goals of promoting growth and restoring financial stability.”
There was a panel discussion, chaired by Edouard de Lencquesaing of Paris Europlace, with the participation of Elizabeth Corley, CEO, Allianz Global Investors; Santiago Fernández de Lis, Chief Economist for Financial Systems and Regulation, BBVA Research; Susannah Haan, Secretary General, European Issuers; Gerhard Huemer, Director Economy and Fiscal Policy, European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises; Dr. Wolf Klinz, Member of the European Parliament; and Thierry Philipponnat, Secretary General, Finance Watch.
The panel discussion was recognised as breaking new ground in linking EU policy and financial architecture with the real concerns of individual financial centres and their clients over the balance of predictability and risk in the challenges they face, and in ensuring the sustainability of their businesses.
The co-ordinator of the Roundtable, Pablo Rivera of Madrid Centro Financiero, said:
“The members of the Roundtable are fully committed to working together to develop an efficient EU financial services industry with global reach, in the interests of the real economy, and to leverage as a coherent strength the diversity embodied in our group.”
Emphasising the value of financial centres to their many and various users, he said:
"Financial Centres act as service centres that optimize the interaction between the different elements of the system (users, markets, issuers, intermediaries, supervisors), either as regards large corporations or SMEs."
"The members of the “European Financial Centres Roundtable” that I represent here today, are fully committed to working together to promote globally the EU´s financial services industry, in the interests of financial services users".
“The European Financial Centres Roundtable comes to light today with the idea of providing the maximum support to those interested in making the European Financial System a worldwide recognized brand, while working in serving financial services users, in rebuilding trust in our markets and, in finding responses to our big question of this conference today “How do financial centres contribute to the wider economy?".
Photgraphs of the event are available here
Michel Barnier’s full speech is available here