France dismisses British fears of finance crackdown

1st December 2009, Comments 0 comments

The Frenchman named as the European Union's new financial overseer on Monday dismissed British fears of a crackdown on London's banking hub as "greatly exaggerated."

PARIS - Britain has voiced fears that Brussels will exercise undue control over the City of London under its new commissioners when the new EU reform treaty comes into force this week.

These are "greatly exaggerated worries," said Michel Barnier, who was named last week as EU commissioner for the internal market and financial services after last-minute intervention by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

"I know how important the City is. I know the importance of this financial centre for the growth of the United Kingdom and for the economy of the whole of Europe," he said on French radio station Europe 1.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has opposed plans to regulate banks, insurers groups and markets from Brussels, as European authorities seek to tighten financial controls in the wake of the global credit crisis.

"That is part of the game," Barnier told reporters on Friday after his nomination was announced. "In France, we did not get worried in the past that the trade commissioner was British."


0 Comments To This Article