European Parliament holds hearing on Wirecard
On 7 October, European Parliament’s (EP) Plenary held a hearing on Wirecard. The hearing was attended by the European Commission’s (EC) Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis and the German European affairs minister Michael Roth.
European Union (EU) financial market supervision dominated the debate. Dombrovskis, and various MEPs alike called for stronger European supervision, whilst Mr. Roth emphasised the need to also look into the role of auditors. He argued that conflicts of interest in the audit sector would have to be investigated.
Several MEPs also criticised EY and auditors broadly, urging for reviewing the functioning of EU audit rules and hinting at operationally splitting the firms.
Dombrovskis underlined that the results of ongoing investigations on Wirecard, as well as on the role of supervisors and auditors, would need to be looked at before any follow-up measures are taken. The EC plans to publish two reports on EU audit market as well as on the functioning of the EU audit legislation.
Mairead McGuinness appointed as Commissioner in charge of financial services
The former Irish centre-Right MEP and Vice-President of the EP, Mairead McGuinness, has been appointed as the Commissioner in charge of DG FISMA and the EC’s financial services portfolio, including audit legislation. She replaces Valdis Dombrovskis, who in turn moved to become the Commissioner in charge of trade.
On 2 October, McGuinness was question by the EP’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), and on 7 October the EP consented to her appointment. During her ECON appearance, McGuinness notably committed to fostering capital market integration in Europe and emphasised the need to thoroughly investigate what happened in the Wirecard case.
Council believes EU Member States should be allowed to postpone ESEF requirements
The Council of the EU adopted its position on several issues related to the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. It noted that Member States should be allowed to postpone the application of ESEF requirements by one year.
As a next step, the EP will have to form its own position and the ECON vote for this is scheduled for 19 November 2020. After the ECON vote, the EP and the Council will need to reach a final agreement. Read more