UBS, Credit Suisse Hire Lobbyist Judith Hardt for EU Push

Banks and exchanges in Europe don’t always see eye to eye on which way regulation should go. They, however, agree on who the best person is to lobby for them.

UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s largest banks, hired award-winning campaigner Judith Hardt to help them negotiate with European Union and global regulators.

Hardt, whose hard selling of the exchanges’ viewpoint for almost a decade won her Compliance Reporter magazine’s Lobbyist of the Year award in 2008, will take over as managing director of the EU Representation Office of the Swiss Finance Council in June. She will be based in Brussels and report to Chairman Alexis Lautenberg, the group said in an e-mailed statement.

The Swiss Council was founded by UBS and Credit Suisse in November 2013 to “represent the interests of internationally active Swiss financial institutions.” The trade group says it focuses on EU legislation including the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive and European Market Infrastructure Regulation, which govern the way banks, exchanges and investors trade.

Hardt had led high-profile regulatory campaigns on the same laws, though from the side of the exchanges in her job as director general of the Federation of European Securities Exchanges. She said on May 14 she had decided to leave FESE to explore new opportunities.

Her crossover to the banks’ side comes as exchanges and banks gear up to negotiate with the European Securities and Markets Authority over technical standards and detailed rules for Mifid. There has been little consensus among lenders and exchanges on the rules.

Regulators are reviewing the structure and oversight of European markets, including limits on the amount of trading that occurs on private venues known as dark pools and scrutinizing computerized trading firms.

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