‘Be brave enough not to regulate’, says EC’s Hill

Jonathan Hill blasts “complex” and “backwards” legislation, urging the Commission to be “brave enough not to regulate.”

The European Commission’s Jonathan Hill made his final speech in Brussels yesterday, criticising  ‘complex’ and ‘backward looking’ legislation.  

Hill said regulation is so complicated that only a handful of people can understand it, urging regulators to “keep it simple.”

“Be brave enough not to regulate,” he told the Commission. 

Hill told politicians to resist getting involved in regulating directly, explaining he is “afraid that the incentives for politicians and regulators are generally not aligned with good regulation.”

He added that regulation must accommodate the rapid pace of technological change, encouraging the use of initiatives like the regulatory sandbox, where “regulators and the regulated work together.”

Hill called for a clearer definition of who can qualify for the market making exemption in a future review of the short selling regulation.

He also suggested smaller banks should be exempt from capital requirements, and urged caution that the leverage ratio rules do not reduce diversity by putting pressure on building societies or mortgage banks.

On 25 June, Hill announced he would be resigning from his post as Commissioner following the EU referendum, which “cannot be undone”.

Having campaigned for the United Kingdom to remain in the EU, Hill concluded: “As we move to a new phase, I don't believe it is right that I should carry on as the British Commissioner as though nothing had happened.”