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16 June 2015

Reuters: ECB's Noyer warns regulations triggering retreat from market making

Increased financial regulation would have spurred a retreat from market making, hitting the ability of companies and households to access funds.

Some banks have warned that tougher rules aimed at making the financial system safer since the 2008-2009 crisis have lifted the cost of making markets - the provision of facilities for investors to buy and sell shares, bonds and derivatives.
Noyer, who is also governor of the Bank of France, told a conference at the Sciences Po University in Paris that increased regulation was creating uncertainty for market participants like the banks that make markets.
"We have to be very careful to ensure that reforms do not lead to a pull-back from activities that would be key to financing investments and companies," Noyer said.
"We see today very clear signs of retreat from market-making, which is undoubtedly partly linked to regulation and can be put down to uncertainty about future regulation," he added.
Some bankers have said a recent spike in borrowing rates was made worse by a lack of liquidity in key markets such as the euro zone government bond market after banks scaled back their market making businesses in recent years.
With tougher regulations also constraining banks' capacity to lend, top ECB officials have said companies must increasingly tap financial markets to raise the funds they need.
Noyer said that as companies cut their reliance on banks for their funding they should privilege equity issuance rather than debt "because what is really lacking is capital".

© Reuters

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