Steven Maijoor, Chair of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), delivered a speech at the 26th Annual Conference of the International Bar Association on the Globalisation of Investment Funds.
"ESMA fully supports the aims of the CMU to foster deeper and more integrated capital markets encompassing all 28 Member States of the EU. Indeed, ESMA’s main objectives and activities are fully aligned with the envisaged CMU. For example, to attract more investors to capital markets, a high level of investor protection is essential, and to further reduce barriers between national capital markets, supervisory convergence needs to progress substantially. A European Union with open capital markets and reduced fragmentation where investors are well-protected will attract investment, and strengthen Europe as a global financial sector.
In its green paper on the CMU, the European Commission made clear that new legislation would be developed only when necessary and that the focus should now be on how to make existing legislation, such as the UCITS Directive or the AIFMD, work better. The Commission also underlined the importance of developing alternative sources of funding of the real economy of the EU which, as we know, has traditionally been funded by the banking sector.
This means that, in the years to come, the asset management industry should, in principle, expect less new legislation. But let me be clear: this does not mean that the asset management industry will not be under close scrutiny by regulators. Firstly, as you are fully aware, policy makers and regulators, including many without a direct responsibility for the regulation or supervision of asset management, are increasingly focusing on stability risks of the industry.
Secondly, a successful CMU project will imply bigger and more interconnected EU capital markets. Without ensuring their financial stability, the efforts of legislators to make EU capital markets stronger, fostering cross-border activities and developing the emergence of new funding sources, will be in vain. Later in my contribution I will talk more extensively about asset management and stability."
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