The committee of European Securities Regulators is about to launch a database
giving authorities around the world information on securities regulatory
decisions made within the European Union (EU), to encourage harmonised
A symbol of the more hands-off approach now favoured by the European
Commission, communications officer Victoria Powell said securities regulators
could check a scenario they are facing, see if it had been processed in the
past, and if so, apply the same reasoning.
‘We hope the database will promote convergence; we will see over time,’ said
If regulators decide to act differently than in the past, this decision would
be logged, as ‘sometimes differences will exist for good reasons’, said Powell.
It is hoped this will build up an EU body of informal precedents.
Indeed, where there are contrasting approaches, the system would ‘highlight
where there could need to be convergence’, she said, although the committee is
keen to ensure this is not enforced by inflexible EU regulations.
The initiative reflects concern at the committee that divergent
interpretations within Europe of International Financial Reporting Standards
(IFRS) could weaken the influence of EU regulators over their development, maybe
allowing USA regulators to become de facto arbiters.
What is more, the database is also designed to help non-European bodies
including the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) make
decisions on regulatory issues in ways that do not clash unnecessarily with EU
Non-EU regulators will have access to past EU decisions, although the
committee has stressed that commercial confidences would not be breached.
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