HM Treasury

Financial services

Financial services in the European Union

The Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP), adopted by the European Commission in May 1999, is a package of policy objectives and specific measures designed to improve the single market for financial services. It focuses on three strategic objectives: a single market for wholesale financial services; open and secure retail markets; state-of-the-art prudential rules and supervision. Documents and publications relevant to financial services in the European union can be found below.

Some of the documents are available in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer you can download the software free of charge from the Adobe website. For alternative ways to read PDF documents and further information on website accessibility visit the HM Treasury accessibility page.

Joint HMT and FSA paper on Reforming OTC Derivative Markets

In December 2009 HM Treasury and the UK FSA published a joint paper 'Reforming OTC derivative markets, a UK perspective' in which we set out the steps we believe need to be taken to address the key risks highlighted within these markets by the financial crisis, namely shortcomings in the management of counterparty credit risk and the absence of sufficient transparency.

The paper discusses why in our view, if these proposals are implemented effectively, it is unclear what benefits forcing trade flow through organised trading platforms will deliver; and outlines our preference for a broad position management approach to combat market manipulation in place of proposals for position limits.

The paper also highlights the significant amount of work underway within the international regulatory community and in partnership with the industry. In our view it is essential that legislators do not pre-judge the outcome of these pieces of work; that careful consideration is given to this work when defining legislation; and that there is not an unnecessary duplication of efforts in these areas.

European Financial Regulation and Supervision

Alongside action to deal with the problems we currently face, the EU must respond to make sure that we have effective crisis management in place to prevent, manage and resolve future crises in the financial system. The Chancellor's letter sets out a number of principles for supervision, and he proposes:

These proposals continue the UK's proactive response, both within the EU and globally in the G20, to tackle the financial crisis and ensure that we have the right arrangements to prevent, manage and resolve such a crisis in future.

Joint FSA and HMT response to the European Commission's public consultation on Hedge Funds

In December 2008, the European Commission 'launched a wide-ranging public consultation on hedge funds, which [would] play an important role in informing the ongoing reflections at European and international level on whether there is a need to reassess the appropriateness of existing approaches to the regulation and supervision of this sector.' In January 2009 a joint response was submitted to the European Commission by HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority.

24 November 2008
Cross-border banking in the EU and EEA: Chancellor’s 24 November letter to Commissioner McCreevy (PDF file 1.05MB) Recent financial market events have demonstrated the importance of ensuring that the appropriate regulatory safeguards are in place for cross-border activity, in particular for risk assessment and monitoring; crisis prevention and mitigation; and crisis resolution. As announced in the Pre Budget Report, the Government has written to the European Commission asking that these issues be considered urgently.

Joint FSA and HMT response to the European Commission's public consultation paper on changes to the decisions establishing CESR, CEBS and CEIOPS

In May 2008, the European Commission issued a consultation paper on amendments to the decisions establishing the three Lamfalussy Level Three committees – the Committee of European Securities Regulators (CESR), the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS). In July 2008 a joint response was submitted by HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority. This was also agreed with the Bank of England and the Pensions Regulator.

03 March 2008
Financial services supervision: Chancellor´s 3 March letter to Ecofin colleagues covering ongoing supervision, crisis management, and resolution (PDF file 2.71MB)
The ongoing financial market turmoil has provided a test of our supervisory and regulatory structures, both across the EU and internationally. The G7, FSF and EU have agreed a substantial work programme to address this, but the UK believes there are lessons for ongoing supervision, for crisis management, and for their resolution, where additional work is necessary. The UK therefore proposes further action:

07 November 2007
Strengthening the EU regulatory and supervisory framework: a practical approach (PDF file 410KB)
The EU's regulatory and supervisory framework - the so-called Lamfalussy arrangements - are being reviewed at the end of the year. Overall the UK authorities believe the Lamfalussy arrangements are structurally sound, and have made a major contribution to the regulation and supervision of financial markets in the EU. Nevertheless, the UK authorities propose a number of practical and ambitious proposals that they believe will deliver further tangible benefits in terms of the efficiency of the regulatory and supervisory process facing firms and the effectiveness in the way the Lamfalussy committees conduct their day-to-day business. Together they represent a positive, constructive and ambitious agenda for further developing the EU's regulatory and supervisory framework.

January 2005
Supervising financial services in an integrated European Single Market: A discussion paper (PDF file 382KB)
As Europe’s financial markets become more integrated, so the question of how to supervise these markets becomes more complex. There is no single or simple way to achieve supervisory convergence: the issues are complex and the solutions are multiple and multi-faceted. This paper sketches out five related challenges that need to be addressed to make progress on achieving convergence of supervisory practice, and offers some proposals for how this can be achieved. Such proposals do not require new EU legislation but rather focus on practical solutions to this complex issue. Taken together, these challenges and proposals present an ambitious framework for action.


Links to all web-pages on forthcoming Commission proposals, legislation under negotiation and legislation in the process of being implemented.

Forthcoming dossiers:
Legislation currently under preparation by the European Commission:

Dossiers currently under negotiation:
Co-decision process ongoing

Completed dossiers:
Legislation adopted, either fully implemented or being implemented in the UK

Related links


For any details on process and developments, please use contact details below:

Email: Aviva Rosen or Karen Ainsworth at European Union Financial Services

Phone: 020 7270 4558 (HM Treasury Correspondence & Enquiries Unit)

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