21st March 2016

Commissioner Jonathan Hill on "Capital Markets Union"

Commissioner Jonathan Hill spoke at the Seventh Bruges European Business Conference "Capital Markets Union" held on 18 March 2016:


...At the heart of what we are trying to do is an effort to improve the funding conveyor belt for businesses. We want to increase funding choices for companies and the overall flow of capital so that more businesses can get the financing they need at each stage of their development.
So starting with companies in their start-up phase - for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas – we're working on ideas to strengthen venture capital markets. We’ll begin this year by amending existing legislation governing venture capital funds to build up scale, diversity and choice. We’ll look at how we can use public money to attract private investment with a pan-European venture capital fund of funds. We are keen to encourage the development of crowd-funding as a source of financing for start-ups. And I want to see whether we can support the development of industry-led business growth funds to support equity in SMEs.
We also want to free up more bank lending to smaller companies. That's why we've made a proposal to restart Europe's securitisation markets. Our proposal sets out criteria for simple, transparent and standardised securitisation, with reduced bank capital requirements for securitisations that qualify. Council reached an agreement on this in record time as governments know how important it is to free up the supply of bank lending. The onus is now on the European Parliament to take this forward. Every extra day that this proposal takes to pass into law is one more day of a missed opportunity for growth.

For companies that are growing, I want to look at existing private placement markets that work well and see whether we can build on them. They're now well-established in France and Germany, and it's a market that's taking off in the UK. Based on this experience, these markets could be a powerful source of funding for medium sized companies when they want to raise amounts above twenty million euros from institutional investors.


Read full speech.

Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic