Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Wednesday, 22 September 2010 12:11 UK

Financial supervision debate

MEPs have backed a new package of financial supervision designed to prevent a future economic crisis.

At the plenary session on 22 September 2010 they debated and voted on three new EU-wide authorities to supervise the banking sector, financial markets and the insurance and pensions industry.

MEPs also approved a new organisation to monitor and warn of any build-up of risk in the economy, known as the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB).

Some MEPs had pushed for further reforms, including banking levies or a financial transaction tax.

British Liberal Democrat MEP Sharon Bowles - chair of the Economic Affairs Committee - described financial regulation in Europe as "like a Swiss cheese - full of holes".

She said the new authorities were needed to create cross-border co-operation.

Support by the MEPs was welcomed by Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, and Didier Reynders representing the Council of Ministers.

Mr Reynders said the creation of the ESRB was a "historic watershed achievement" and would be able to prevent member states getting into deep financial difficulty.

However UKIP's Godfrey Bloom said the result would "throw away" existing regulation of the City of London.

The Parliament had formally approved the supervision package in principle at the July plenary session, but held off making a final vote until a compromise had been reached with the Council of Ministers.

The votes took place at the voting session later in the day, at which the following votes were achieved:

• setting up the European Insurance and Occupational Authority (passed by 597 votes to 29)

• establishing the European Systemic Risk Board (passed by 587 votes to 29)

• setting up a European Banking Authority (passed by 587 votes to 35)

• setting up the European Securities and Markets Authority (passed by 588 votes to 29)

Read more here at Democracy Live's guide to the European Parliament plenary sessions.


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