"A recovery is in sight," is how Olli Rehn, Commission Vice President responsible for the economy, summarised the EU spring report released on 11 May 2012. Nevertheless the economic situation remains fragile since, as Rehn noted, the position of various member states differs.
So-called 'non-banks' are by no means demonized by the European Commission. In fact the contrary is true as, from the Commission's perspective, they represent an additional source of financing and offer investors alternatives to bank deposits. However, they also present a risk to the entire finance system. The EU wishes to counteract this risk potential by regulating the shadow banking system.
EU Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier, speaking in Straßburg on 15 November 2011, declared that ratings must no longer be allowed to aggravate market volatility. He presented EU Commission proposals for a directive as well as a regulation for the stricter control of rating agencies. No business is conducted on the bond market without a credit rating from a rating agency. This is not only a long-standing practice, but also demanded by government regulation in some countries – for example the provisions of the SEC regulatory authority in the USA.