EU agrees measures to tighten oversight of foreign finance firms

European Union governments and lawmakers have reached agreement on tighter rules for asset managers and investment firms offering “bank-like” services, such as proprietary trading and underwriting of financial instruments.

The agreement will give the European Commission more power in overseeing foreign financial firms operating in the EU, including more clout over London-based financial firms after Britain leaves the EU.

The overhaul also imposes stricter liquidity and capital requirements on large EU investment firms, partly tightening an initial proposal put forward in 2017.

“The agreement further strengthens the equivalence regime that would apply to third-country investment firms,” the EU said in a statement. The Commission will also get more power to assess whether foreign rules are compatible with EU regulations.

More than half of the 6,000 European investment firms have their EU headquarters in the UK, although many have taken steps to remain in the EU after Brexit by setting up offices elsewhere.

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