April 17, 2015 / 10:39 AM / 2 years ago

EU prepares rules for tackling failed financial firms outside banking

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Union is looking at creating rules on how to deal with financial firms outside the banking industry that run into trouble, including clearing houses, insurers and asset managers, the EU’s financial services chief said on Friday.

The 28-country bloc has already introduced rules on how to wind down troubled banks without turning to taxpayers for cash. It now wants a similar regime for other so-called systemic financial market participants.

EU financial services commissioner Jonathan Hill told Reuters in an interview that he would shortly set out a system specifically for dealing with failed clearing houses ahead of a draft law due to be completed later in the year.

He said the issue had become pressing due to reforms to make the $700 trillion derivatives market safer by channeling these financial instruments through clearers, third party organizations that ensure derivatives trades are completed even if one side of the deal goes bust.

Clearing houses like Eurex Clearing (DB1Gn.DE) and LCH.Clearnet (LSE.L) are set to grow significantly, thus posing risks to financial stability if they collapsed.

“Previous reforms have introduced greater transparency and concentrated risk in clearing houses and therefore we need to think more carefully how you would resolve them,” Hill said.

Financial market participants have pushed for a separate regime for clearers and have warned against a “one size fits all” approach to resolving financial firms outside the banking industry.

Hill said the EU executive would adopt a proposal for an new EU law later in the year.

“We will be setting out alongside that what our approach would be to other non-bank entities that might present risks, such as insurers and asset managers,” Hill said.

“The view I have taken is, where the case is strongest with clearing houses we should act early, and where we need to assemble the evidence, to take our time to form a proper risk-based view of things, we can come back to ... at a later date.”

“There is going to be a differentiated approach on that, which is a new development,” Hill said.

Reporting by Huw Jones. Editing by Jane Merriman

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