Last update: 20/09/2016

Ska Keller - GREEN Candidate for the European Commission answers to FEBEA Appeal "CHANGE FINANCE TO CHANGE EUROPE"

Tuesday, 20 May, 2014

Read the answer of Ska Keller - Green to the FEBEA Appeal "CHANGE FINANCE TO CHANGE EUROPE":

  1. What is your stance on the introduction, based in the proposal of the Commission dated 28th September 2011[1], of a “Tax on Financial Transactions” that could effectively contrast speculation in all EU countries?

The proposal is a good basis, and should be further enlarged to include currency transactions as well as cancelled orders (to better tackle High Frequency Trading). Unfortunately, the Member States that agreed to set up the FTT seem to be watering down their ambition, both in terms of a timely introduction of the tax and regarding its coverage.

  1. What will you do to ensure the separation between banks that conduct risky financial activities and banks based mainly on the collection of savings, advocated by the Liikanen Report and recently addressed by the proposal of structural reform of the banking system promoted by the Commission on 29th January 2014[2]? In this regard, do you think a complete legal separation between commercial and investment banks would be appropriate?

Yes , a complete legal separation as successfully implemented after the great depression in the 1930s would be appropriate. Ringfencing in  line with the original proposals of the Vickers commission would be a good and significant first step.

  1. In focusing their investment strategy on financing projects with specifically social, cultural or environmental goals, European ethical banks[3] have for many years favored a sustainable and transparent approach to banking, always focusing on the support of real economy. What do you think about a specific acknowledgement of the role of these banks, also in the context of the Basel III regulation?

Yes, and we made proposals for banks that with sound business models to be subjected to a lighter regime. This was unfortunately not carried. And we would be happy to include a specific acknowledgement of the role of Ethical Banks, and we look forward to studying your proposals in this regard.

  1. What do you plan to do to oppose the “Tax havens”, a relevant source of the distortions that have caused the financial crisis?

A few of many measures we have been and will be fighting for:

- Introducing a mandatory CCCTB for cross-border companies, and pending that, fix the parent subsidiary and royalties and interest payments directives

- generalise and extend automatic information exchange

- introduce cross sector country –by-country reporting

- a public registry for the beneficial ownership of companies, trusts, foundations etc.

- EU definition and list of tax havens, based on (but  not exclusively) the concept of economic substance

  1. Based on the work undertaken by the Commission with its Communication to the Council and the European Parliament dated 04th September 2013[4], what will you do to fight the “shadow banking system”, namely the kind of non-bank financial intermediaries that provides services similar to those of the ordinary commercial banks, but with approaches and modalities that tend to avoid the ordinary controls of the monitoring authorities?

Shadow banks that perform banking like functions should be subjected to the same or similar rules as banks. In the meantime, exposure limits could be introduced.

6.  What will you do, by way of integrating the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR)[5], to regulate the derivatives, in particular the non–regulated ones, that were among the financial products that caused the current crisis, and today still play a relevant role?

Indeed, EMIR needs to be improved and complemented, both in terms of coverage and tighter rules.