The EESC welcomes the proposal put forward by the Commission to introduce the world's first regional financial transaction tax (FTT). The Committee believes that its application at regional level (EU11+ zone) could constitute an exceptional opportunity, which could lead to its future application worldwide. The Committee believes that the introduction of this tax within the EU11+ will foster the establishment of a single financial market. The Committee believes that, in order to maximise the impact of the tax on economic growth, the revenue that it raises should be channelled into a programme of investment at national and EU levels capable of delivering economic recovery and jobs in the short term.
The EESC considers it vital to preserve the "biodiversity" of the financial system, without this meaning the arbitrary application of rules. In this context the Committee applauds the consideration the European Commission has given to the introduction of calibrated financial regulation frameworks to consider the specificities of cooperative and savings banks that avoid the undesirable effects of uniform application of prudential rules and possibly an overload of administrative burdens.
The EESC welcomes these proposals on sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBSs), which fit into the broader context of completing the Banking Union and building a Capital Markets Union (CMU). Moreover, the proposals also have the potential to make a positive contribution to financial stability and resilience. The EESC has been strongly advocating a weakening of the link between banks and their home countries ("sovereigns") and therefore welcomes that SBBSs aim to contribute to this. The EESC considers that in conceptual terms, the idea of SBBSs is an attractive one and feels that the only way to find out whether banks will switch from bonds from their home countries to SBBSs for their investments and whether investors will be prepared to buy "junior" tranches in sufficient quantities to justify the creation of SBBSs, is to test this new financial instrument - the SBBS - on the market.
The financial crisis and irresponsible lending have caused an increase in defaults and foreclosures as borrowers have found their loans increasingly unaffordable.The focus of this proposal is to ensure that all consumers purchasing a property or taking out a loan secured by their home are adequately protected against the risks. The opinion is of particular interest for financial professions involved in mortgage credit activities as well as citizens facing such kind of operation.
The Committee supports the Commission proposal to improve the regulation of rating agencies in order to further eradicate major shortcomings in transparency, independence, conflict of interest, and the quality of procedures used in making ratings. The dependence on these ratings should also be reduced, according to the Committee. Insider trading and market abuse damage confidence in the integrity of the markets, which is an essential prerequisite for a functional capital market. The EESC welcomes the fact that the Commission, with a new proposal, is responding to changing market conditions and is seeking to update the framework created by the market abuse directive.