Highlighting the importance of a truly integrated financial market in Europe

Jacqueline Mills, Managing Director and Head of the AFME office in Frankfurt

Jacqueline Mills, Managing Director and Head of the AFME office in Frankfurt

In May, AFME will be holding its first conference on the topic of supervision and financial integration – here Jacqueline Mills, Managing Director and Head of the AFME office in Frankfurt, explains why AFME decided to expand its footprint in Frankfurt and what topics will be on the agenda of the conference.

In February 2017, you opened an office in the Financial Centre Frankfurt to expand AFME’s European presence. Why did you choose Frankfurt?

AFME decided to extend its European footprint into Frankfurt two years ago by opening the local office in order to deepen its relationships with some of the key EU institutions, including the SSM, ECB, and ESRB, hosted by the city. Our focus is on ECB banking supervision since  many of our members are primarily supervised by the ECB and the ECB is also a direct supervisor for a growing number of entities belonging to our members with headquarters outside the Eurozone. As the heart of German finance, Frankfurt also provides us with a base to engage with local regulators, such as the BaFIN and Bundesbank, as well as other European organisations like EIOPA which are based here.

 What are the goals of the AFME, especially with regards to Brexit?

 As a pan-European trade association, we are dedicated to the promotion of deep and liquid European capital markets. We have well-established relationships across the EU27 and the UK. AFME aims to act as a bridge between market participants and policymakers across Europe, drawing on our strong and long-standing relationships, our technical knowledge and fact-based work. Especially our work concerning  Brexit draws on that approach. In particular, we have focussed on ensuring the decision-making community is aware of the potential cliff edge or no deal risks of Brexit.  Our work has contributed to the EU27 and individual Member States, including the UK, addressing many, if not all, of these issues. Of course, uncertainty remains, and we aim to help our members navigate this. If and when the UK’s exit becomes better defined, we will – on behalf of our members – contribute to shaping the future relationship for financial services between the EU27 and UK.

What will be the main topics covered by the conference held on May 23rd, 2019? For which target group is it suitable?

AFME members’ businesses span accross multiple global regions, thus connecting end-users with sources of capital and liquidity. Yet, the global banking industry is increasingly confronted with fragmentation along national and regional lines, which creates unnecessary rigidity and costs. At European level, the economic benefits of a truly integrated market for financial services are well understood, but progress remains slow.

The conference, which is our first one held in Frankfurt, will therefore address the interplay between the EU’s various Banking and Capital Market Union projects.   Furthermore, we discuss how moving forward with these initiatives is key to having a truly integrated financial market in Europe. The conference will also identify practical suggestions for achieving the European supervisory framework necessary to support these mutually reinforcing goals and consider how to enable greater cross-border supervisory cooperation. We hope that the event will provide food for thought for the next Commission’s mandate.

Among the highlights on the agenda are keynote addresses from Dr Jörg Kukies, State Secretary, German Ministry of Finance and ECB Vice President, Luis de Guindos. We also have a vast range of speakers, including representatives from the FSB, EBA, ECB, UK PRA and the US Federal Reserve Board in addition to industry leaders from a variety of capital market businesses around Europe.

You can register to attend the conference here.