Brussels for Breakfast (133)

Held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

With support from PwC


  • Graham Bishop

  • David Thomas



Graham Bishop – our guide to all things EU-related – is worried that our B4B meetings have become excessively fixated on Brexit. I cannot disagree – though it obviously is the elephant in the room.

Still it is worth standing back to look at what else is going on in Brussels that is likely to impact our financial services sector. After all, the Brussels sausage machine grinds on; in the last few days, for instance, we have had the ESC (e-card) regulation, the STC framework for securitisation and the annual report on Banking Union. Going forward, there is all the planning underway for MiFID2, for the GDPR and for Open Banking – all of which will hit us next year regardless of Brexit. Charles Grant, and his mates at the CER have also just put out a new report on Relaunching the EU that is well worth a look, and Socialists in the European Parliament have started to get their knickers in a twist over the so-called “Paradise Papers”, and about the need to crack down on “tax abuse”.

Add in the existential threat to the EU posed by the Catalan crisis (and by the strong showing for separatist and/or anti-EU parties in recent elections), and it is clear that there is a lot more going on than just the endless/unproductive talks-about-talks-about Brexit. We are, therefore, delighted to welcome back David Thomas to add some spice to what Graham has to say.

Many of you will know David from his time as senior EU advisor to Deutsche Boerse and, before that, as head of comms at the World Federation of Exchanges. Some of you will even remember him from his days as Brussels bureau chief for Knight Ridder and Bridge News. The point is that David has been around the block with the Brussels institutions – and, having left Deutsche Boerse a month ago, is wonderfully well-placed to let us know what he really thinks. At the very least, he will help us sort the wheat from the chaff as Graham talks us through the minutiae of the EU’s financial agenda. 

If you (or a colleague) would like to join us - and perhaps add your own thoughts - please let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 020 7 621 1056. As usual, there will be coffee, tea and buns to ease the pain.


Andrew Hilton