Commissioner promoting finance lobby’s deregulation agenda
Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has this week questioned the European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union Jonathan Hill on his links to the British finance lobby and his aggressive promotion of its dangerous deregulation agenda.
Commissioner Hill is a former lobbyist for the financial sector, and Sinn Féin and others raised objections to his appointment to this role.
During a hearing in the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Carthy said:
“Commissioner, last week the Corporate Europe Observatory released a new report on ‘Lobbying for the City of London’, which shows that the British finance lobby - your old stomping ground - spends €34 million a year trying to influence EU policy-making.
“And nothing demonstrates better that this is money well-spent than your promotion of the Capital Markets Union.
“Unfortunately the Commission’s first report on the implementation of the CMU Action Plan released in April fails to address the substantive concerns that have been raised from various corners about the dangers and limitations of reviving shadow banking and securitisation.
“It fails to address the fundamental underlying problem in the European economy of stagnation in investment.
“The Commission continues to ignore the major structural differences between the economy in the US and Europe, which have been pointed out repeatedly. It continues to promote the myth that shadow banking will help provide finance for SMEs and start-ups even though we know access to capital markets is usually too expensive for SMEs, and start-ups need access to equity funding.
“We don’t need to re-open the casino. We need to stimulate demand in the real economy by ending austerity policies, promoting public investment and wage increases, and increasing lending to MSMEs through regulated relationship banking.
“I’d like to ask what steps the Commission will take to facilitate meaningful public engagement in a discussion which will have serious consequences for society as a whole”.