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05 May 2010


BRUSSELS, 28 April 2010 – The highlights of a report compiled for the EU Parliament on “Global Governance, international monetary policy and tackling global imbalances” were presented for the first time this morning at a breakfast meeting hosted by Weber Shandwick and organised by ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).   Keynote speakers included Dr. Kay Swinburne MEP, author of the thematic paper for the Parliament’s Economic Crisis Committee, Chas Roy-Chowdhury, Head of Taxation at ACCA, and Mike Vercnocke, Head of European Affairs for the City of London. 

The participants debated issues such as the role of macroeconomic imbalances in the economic crisis and excessive saving in the emerging world; the correction of imbalances and adjusting of savings as well as  investment patterns across the world; the role of policy in addressing domestic and international distortions in the long term; the impact of European and non-European countries running flat-tax regimes; and the post-crisis need to strike the  right balance between  financial and regulatory reform and restoring economic growth and long term stability. 

Dr. Kay Swinburne MEP stressed that “a new EU rulebook  should be welcomed but rather than spending time designing a new pan European supervision body  the first priority should be a return to fundamentals with better and more communication between the various colleges of supervisors on the ground and a principled approach to regulation”. She called for better regulation of the financial services sector stating “while EU member states have full responsibility for tax raising powers, tax policies would benefit from a more coordinated approach to support the operations of the single market”.  “Better corporate governance with fit for purpose boards and greater transparency are also required in the operations of financial services institutions to restore people’s confidence, which will in turn have a positive effect on financial markets”, she added.  

Responding to this Chas Roy Chowdhury remarked that “we need to look at reducing tax  complexity  in the EU and globally, avoiding knee-jerk legislation and taking a longer-term view to ensure that we don’t end up with a similar financial crisis down the line. When reconsidering the regulatory framework at the EU level, the best approach should be one of pan-European coordination looking at best practices in order to ensure a level playing field, rather than jumping into delicate situations with both feet”.  “We already have a coordinated approach in the area VAT and similar areas to consider are the upcoming proposal on a Common Consolidated Tax base (CCCTB). The concept of “home state taxation” should be re-launched”, he said. 

Mike Vercnocke commented that “We need to look at all causes of the financial crisis  and the global impact of the whole financial reform process. We need namely to make sure that excessive focus on capital requirement does not negatively impact economic growth and that we do not penalise sectors which are doing well. . On the issue of an internationally coordinated approach through the G20, he stressed that the US will start solving domestic issues first, which means that new legislation needs to be drafted with sufficient flexibility to allow regulators to deliver a consistent approach at the international level, for example at IOSCO and the Basel Committee.”

James Watson, Account Director with Weber Shandwick who moderated the debate stated that “the issue of taxation is extremely relevant for businesses at the moment given the responses of certain European countries to the financial crisis with reassessments of tax instruments taking place. This can have far reaching consequences for the business community in general. Today, we were delighted to be able to offer stakeholders in this area the opportunity to hear the views of experts who came together to engage in open discussions on this extremely topical issue.”   

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Notes to Editors 

About Weber Shandwick

Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations agency with offices in 77 countries around the world. The firm’s success is built on its deep commitment to client service, our people, creativity, collaboration and harnessing the power of Advocates - engaging stakeholders in new and creative ways to build brands and reputation. Weber Shandwick provides strategy and execution across practices such as consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial services, corporate and crisis management. Its specialised services include digital/social media, advocacy advertising, market research, and corporate responsibility. In 2009, Weber Shandwick was recognised as PRWeek’s inaugural Global Agency Report Card Gold Medal Winner, an ‘Agency of the Decade’ by Advertising Age, Global Agency of the Year by The Holmes Report, and International Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek UK. The firm has also won numerous ‘best place to work’ awards around the world including PR News and The Holmes Report. Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more information, visit 

About ACCA

1. ACCA’s discussion paper on tax after the Financial  crisis is available at:

2. ACCA is the global body for professional accountants. We aim to offer business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. We have 362,000 students and 131,500 members in 170 countries worldwide. 

3. ACCA has worked with governments, national organisations and development agencies in emerging economies- for over 20 years- promoting the accounting profession, to create value for the communities, businesses and individuals it serves. 

4. ACCA believes that globalisation of business means that one set of reporting standards is essential. We favour the principles-based IFRS. 

5. ACCA understands the real issues facing small businesses as 63,000 of our members work in SMEs or small partnerships worldwide. 


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