Page last updated at 14:28 GMT, Thursday, 25 October 2012 15:28 UK

Financial trading rules

Single Market Commissioner Michel Barnier has denied that new rules on financial trading represent an "assault on the City of London".

He was speaking during a debate on 25 October 2012 on a draft directive designed to increase transparency and promote good governance in the financial sector.

Under the proposals, investors would have to be offered financial products that are tailored to their needs, to reduce the risk of being misled.

Ukip MEP Roger Helmer said they would be a "nail in the coffin" of the UK's financial sector, but Mr Barnier said that City of London representatives "have always backed what we are doing to try and achieve healthy and transparent financial markets".

Investment advisors and sales officers would be required to posses an "appropriate" level of knowledge of the products they are selling.

The proposals also contain new uniform trading rules for certain bonds and derivatives.

The parliament's lead negotiator on the proposals, German MEP Markus Ferber, said the recent crisis had shown that financial markets "take on a life of their own" when left to their own accord.

A proposal by the European Commission to oversee so-called "high-frequency algorithmic trading", where computers trade millions of orders every second with minimal human intervention, has been tightened up.

MEPs have inserted an amendment to ensure that all trading venues ensure that their systems can cope with sudden increases in market volatility, such as automatic "circuit breakers" to halt trading.

The proposals will be voted on during the daily voting session from 10.30am on 26 October 2012.

Useful links:

Democracy Live's guide to how the plenary sessions work.

A disclaimer on the use of simultaneous interpretations, on the European Parliament's website.

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