EU regulators question their own handiwork

By Staff | June 7, 2016 | Last updated on June 7, 2016
2 min read

European authorities appear to be ahead of the curve—or at least of Canada—when it comes to assessing the impact of their own regulations on growth, says Ian Russell, president and CEO of the Investment Industry Association of Canada (IIAC).

Russell’s latest industry letter contains this and other observations from the International Capital Market Association (ICMA) AGM and Annual Conference held May 19-20 in Dublin, Ireland.


  • The European banking system is under stress. The ratcheting up of capital and liquidity requirements has forced asset sales, restructuring of operations and retrenchment of traditional lending and trading businesses.
  • European regulators recognize the need to re-calibrate regulation to promote growth. The European Commission realizes the regulatory program following the crisis was rolled out in haste, and inevitably in silos. The probability that they got everything right is zero.

Read: ECB holds rates to give stimulus a chance

  • The EU Parliament and Commission embarked on a formal “Call for Evidence” and requested that stakeholders submit evidence on how rules:
    • affect the ability of the economy to finance itself and grow;
    • result in unnecessary regulatory burdens;
    • interact and create inconsistencies in the rules framework; and
    • give rise to unintended consequences.
  • Canadian regulators have not followed the EU lead by undertaking a comprehensive review of the regulatory burden in domestic markets.

Russell stresses the importance of Canadian regulators undertaking a cost-benefit analysis of all proposed new regulatory initiatives “to confirm that the benefits of these reforms justify the additional costs imposed on registered firms and advisors, and on clients.” He says the efficiency and competitiveness of Canada’s capital markets are at stake.

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