Interview with Simone Delcourt
Simone Delcourt, Director of the CSSF since 2005, answers our questions about the recent regulatory changes.
What is the CSSF’s view about the regulatory changes Luxembourg has seen over the past few years?There have been massive changes in the regulations governing the financial sector in recent years in response to the global economic crisis and the crisis in customer confidence in financial players and products. The crisis brought to light the fact that international integration of financial institutions was closer than international cooperation between supervisory authorities. Precisely in order to overcome these variations, a new European financial supervision system was set up in January 2011, comprising a European Banking Authority (EBA), a European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and a European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA). Their aim is to restore confidence, help develop a single set of rules, resolve the problems linked to cross-border companies and avoid a build-up of risks liable to threaten the stability of the global financial system. It is clear that the establishment of this system means that Member States’ room for manoeuvre is destined to disappear in favour of greater harmonisation, both in terms of the transposition of the regulations and in terms of applying and overseeing them.
What is the outlook like for the country?Luxembourg will increasingly find itself on an equal footing with the other Member States when it comes to the application of the regulations in the financial sector. The financial centre should take advantage of the opportunity to take a long, hard look at itself and engage in more innovation and internationalisation. In recent decades, Luxembourg has acquired undisputed expertise in the field of finance, and this process must continue in order to improve the products and services offered further still. Certain projects underway, such as the transposition of the AIFM Directive, are liable to offer new prospects for the country, and several offshore funds have already indicated an interest in moving their registered offices to Luxembourg.
What are the main challenges ahead?Luxembourg must acquire the means to deal not just with European competition but with global competition. The financial centre has good advantages. For example, it enjoys an undisputed international reputation for trustworthiness and has a respected supervisory authority. It must continue along these lines, at the same time as investing in product and service innovation and in training the various stakeholders with the emphasis on financial consumer protection, so as to restore customer confidence.