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.
The euro area needs to step up its external representation. This will strengthen its relative weight in international financial institutions and give it a more prominent position in international financial markets. The EESC endorses the rationale behind the two Commission documents and agrees with the main elements of the three-phase scenario to gain a single euro area chair at the IMF by 2025. At the same time, however, the EESC proposes that the Commission also draft scenarios for making stronger and more effective the links with other relevant international bodies, taking particular account of their remits. The EESC also recommends clearly and explicitly defining the roles of euro area external representation and their dovetailing with those of the EU as a whole, with a view to preserving the integrity of the single market.
The opinion makes a contribution to analysis and proposals on an issue that the European institutions should deal with more energy, cohesion and above all with a clear and definite will to eradicate the phenomenon.