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.
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.