16 Sep 2016

Annual Review 2016

My first year as AFME Chairman coincided with a historic moment for Europe when the UK voted to leave the European Union. No Member State has voted to leave the EU before, and the UK electorate’s decision will profoundly affect Europe’s interconnected capital markets. We now need constructive solutions.

AFME’s aim in the post-referendum period is to minimise Brexit’s potentially harmful impact both on European capital markets and the 500 million European citizens who save and invest. We are in close contact with our members and other trade associations to ensure the industry’s voice is heard on the practical implications for Europe’s financial centres and wider economic growth.

One significant challenge will be UK-based institutions’ ability to passport services to the rest of the EU. Following our fact-based approach, we commissioned the AFME-Clifford Chance report, The UK Referendum – Challenges for Europe’s Capital Markets: A legal and regulatory assessment. The document has already become required reading for policymakers and industry experts in all Member States seeking to understand the different options for UK access to the single market.

Brexit aside, the broader regulatory agenda remains. We remain committed to supporting Europe’s wholesale markets in adapting to the current regulatory reform programme.

This year we have continued our work helping to implement the Basel programme at European level and have made significant contributions to major conduct reform measures. The work demonstrates the technical expertise and insight of AFME’s staff in helping to shape the legislation that will underpin Europe’s interconnected markets.

AFME looks forward to constructively engaging on CMU with Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis and his colleagues as this vital project becomes a reality.

AFME has always been guided by the need to promote stable, competitive and sustainable financial markets that support economic growth and benefit society. These principles were reaffirmed at our first Board meeting after the referendum and will continue to inform us going forward.

Our role as a pan-European trade group gives us not just a unique insight inside the EU Member States, but an opportunity also to be a genuine voice for the capital markets industry in Europe in a time of uncertainty.

Finally, I would like to thank AFME Board members and staff members for their dedication and hard work over the past year. Special thanks go to Christophe Mianné from Société Générale and Jose-Luis Guerrero from HSBC, both of whom stepped down from the Board this year. Their insights have been invaluable in helping AFME tackle the issues at the heart of Europe’s capital markets. We welcome their successors to the Board, Frank Drouet and Patrick George.

Michael Cole-Fontayn


Association for Financial Markets in Europe
September 2016