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EU Council, European Parliament reach deal on securitization

The Presidency of the Council of the EU, currently held by Malta, reached an agreement with representatives of the European Parliament on proposals aimed at facilitating the development of a securitization market in Europe.

Securitization refers to the process in which a lender refinances a set of loans by converting them into securities and dividing the repackaged loans into different risk categories. A framework for securitization is one of the main elements of the EU's plan to develop a fully functioning capital markets union by 2019-end.

The agreement covers two draft regulations. One sets rules on securitizations and establishes criteria to define "simple, transparent and standardized" securitization, while the other amends regulations on banks' capital requirements.

The negotiators agreed on a 5% risk retention requirement, or the interest in the securitization that loan originators need to retain themselves, as well as on the creation of a data repository system for securitization transactions to increase market transparency, and a light-touch authorization process for third parties that assist in verifying compliance with requirements for simple, transparent and standardized securitizations.

The agreement will be submitted to EU ambassadors for endorsement on behalf of the council. Both the council and the European Parliament will then be called on to adopt the proposed regulation at first reading.

"This initiative will encourage financial market integration in Europe and make it easier to lend to households and businesses," said Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna.