Banking lobby groups join forces

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Four of Europe’s national lobbying groups for the investment banking industry are to set up a joint forum in an effort to better argue their case with European legislators and international regulators.

The European Forum of Securities Associations has the support of investment banking lobby groups in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Sweden. Its creation reflects the importance of legislation emerging from the European Commission and the growing power of pan-European bodies such as the Committee of European Securities Regulators.

It also reflects the extent to which investment banking industries in countries such as France and the United Kingdom – which previously regarded each other as rivals – are now increasingly working together.

The forum will co-ordinate responses from national groups on issues such as the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, the European legislation which will come into force later this year and is expected to have far-reaching consequences for the way institutions and individuals buy and sell shares.

Jonathan Taylor, director general of the London Investment Banking Association, said the idea to create a forum had grown out of informal co-operation between different groups on issues such as Mifid and efforts to open up the market for clearing and settling securities trades.

“This is complementary to, rather than replacing our existing activities, because there will be areas where we will naturally tend to take different views,” he said. ”The idea is to provide a more focussed process for ensuring our messages are delivered effectively.”

Other members of the group are the French Association of Investment Firms, the Italian Association of Financial Intermediaries, and the Swedish Securities Dealers Association. It does not include representation from countries such as Germany and Spain, where the securities industry tends to be represented by banking associations that have a broader agenda.

The forum will not have a permanent staff of its own, but will draw on employees of the four groups as needed. It will also hold regular meetings which each association will host in turn.

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