Plenary Speech - Strasbourg, May 2015

Los Angeles

I would like to thank the rapporteur for all of her hard work in putting forward a sensible approach to this file, and accommodating so many political groups in the compromise position we are voting on tomorrow.

This text provides a good framework for national competent authorities to supervise benchmark administrators within a European framework. This new regime will ensure that investors and consumers are protected across the EU.

The approach rightly focuses a tough regime upon critical benchmarks and is not overly onerous upon other benchmarks that are easily substitutable. The focus upon transparency to users of benchmarks will allow investors and consumers to decide if they are happy with the way in which benchmarks are compiled and use alternatives should they find it necessary.

The more proportionate approach taken within the EP text to non-critical benchmarks is welcome, however it is only possible if Member States are also able to choose to elevate a benchmark that may not fall into the critical category should they feel it is systemically important to their market. Or indeed upgrade it to critical should it be particularly susceptible to manipulation.

As we begin negotiations with Council and the Commission I would urge them to pay particular attention to the way our third country provisions interact with the proportionate approach being proposed for non-critical benchmarks. The use of internationally agreed IOSCO principles to measure equivalence is of fundamental importance to improving the standards that benchmark administrators are held to, globally, without creating the many problems we have seen with other pieces of legislation that have had extra-territorial effect.

I look forwards to working with Cora and the rest of the negotiating team in trilogue to achieve a workable and beneficial outcome.