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AMI launches factsheet on European regulation

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has launched its latest factsheet entitled A Guide to European Financial Services Legislation.

The impact of the European Commission on UK financial services continues to increase.

The Commission has already turned its attention to mortgages (both first and second charge) with the publication of a Mortgage Credit Green Paper, which will be followed by a White Paper early next year.

The factsheet outlines the European legislative process and the two existing European Directives which could affect mortgage intermediaries: The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and The Consumer Credit Directive.

The factsheet also provides information on the major European institutions (European Commission, Directorate Generals, European Parliament, etc) and the specialist European institutions (European Securities Committee, European Banking Committee, etc) involved in producing and implementing European Directives.

It outlines the approach the Commission uses to approve financial services legislation – The Lamfalussy Approach – which splits the approval process for Directives into two levels:

Level 1 lays down the basic principles of the Directive.

Level 2 sets out the technical implementation measures.

The factsheet also provides a guide to the legislative terminology used at a European level so members will know the difference between inter-service consultation, conciliation process and comitology.

Other areas covered include the role of HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority, and what happens to countries that fail to implement Directives?

Rob Griffiths, associate director of AMI, says: The European agenda continues to shape and impact the regulation of UK financial services.

We have already seen the impact of major European directives such as the Insurance Mediation Directive which resulted in the regulation of the general insurance sector.

The Commission has also turned its attention to mortgages with its Mortgage Credit output.

With both MiFID and the CCD on the horizon, intermediaries should be aware of their content and their potential impact.

Because of the greater willingness to regulate financial services at a European level, an increasing part of AMIs lobbying work now takes place in Brussels.

We have a responsibility to represent the views of our members and ensure there is no detrimental impact on their businesses.

This factsheet aims to give members an overview of the European legislative institutions, their work and the potential effect on the intermediary sector.

AMI will continue to work at a European level and update members on future developments.

AMIs sister trade body, the Association of Independent Financial Advisers, recently announced the launch of a new consultation group to look at the impact MiFID will have when it comes into force in November 2007.

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