Yesterday, March 10th, the European Commission held a public hearing in Brussels on the leverage ratio and LCRs. The meeting was attended by over 200 stakeholders. On the much raised issue of the inclusion of securitisations in the definition of high quality liquid assets, the Commission said it was open to reviewing the matter, but also indicated that it was not minded to change the position outlined in the EBA report. Citing the desire to stick to the Basel recommendations, the Commission also indicated that it was aware of the arguments that had been raised over the EBA's report and in favour of inclusion. It specifically mentioned William Peraudin's work on "bid-offer" spread but also clearly indicated that this had not convinced them. They also indicated that they did not see any contradiction between the approach adopted by EIOPA of defining high quality securitisation and the refusal of the EBA to do the same in the context of bank regulations. Forceful arguments were put forward by AFME, PCS and the auto-manufacturers represented both by individual firms from Germany, France and the UK and by the VDA. Representatives of the leasing industry and the factoring industry also raised good points on behalf of securitisation. In our view, the Commission signalled a marked reluctance to depart from the EBA report or to see any flaws in the EBA's approach. They did solicit comments by March 31st and promised to post details on their website here.
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