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EU report calls for "consistency checks" on EU financial rules

[LONDON] The European Union should conduct annual "coherence and consistency" checks on its financial rules from next year to avoid crimping the flow of funds to the economy, a European Parliament draft report says.

The report, prepared for the assembly's economic affairs committee and seen by Reuters on Tuesday, is the latest move by policymakers to review the impact of new banking rules rushed through since the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Banks have repeatedly called for a review, arguing that some rules have unintended consequences, such as squeezing liquidity in bond markets and making it overly expensive to lend to companies, arguments central bankers have largely rejected.

Burkhard Balz, the German centre-right lawmaker who authored the report, said a "thorough impact assessment of the financial services framework is necessary and that this should be regularly repeated."

The report includes a resolution for the European Parliament to adopt, calling for annual "coherence and consistency" checks on EU financial rules to see if they are proportionate in relation to small and medium-sized companies.

A more comprehensive "quantitative and qualitative assessment" of the cumulative impact of all the new and proposed EU rules should be conducted every five years, the resolution says.

Parliament carries clout as it has joint say with EU states on financial rulemaking in the EU.

The bloc's executive European Commission has already said it is willing to propose changes to rules made in haste.

EU financial services chief, Jonathan Hill, is considering whether some capital requirements for banks need easing as policymaker attention switches from dealing with the aftermath of the crisis to boosting growth.

Germany, France and Britain are calling for a rethink of planned new EU securities rules.


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