Following up to the conclusions of the 24-25 March Spring European Council, the Council has reviewed, as part of a coordinated strategy, the availability and soundness of the backstop measures in place to address decisively any remaining pockets of vulnerability in the EU banking sector.
The Council confirmed that necessary remedial actions following results of the test will be taken. These measures privilege private sector solutions but also include a solid framework for the provision of government support in case of need, in line with state aid rules. The backstop measures have been drawn up ahead of the publication of the stress test results in line with the guiding principles agreed by the Ecofin Council on 17 May.
Germany's financial regulator has taken a swipe at European Union rule makers over the way they ignored Basel III bank capital definitions when they designed new pan-European bank stress tests.
BaFin's president Jochen Sanio criticised the European Banking Authority for setting its own definition for capital benchmarks that took no account of internationally agreed Basel terms. "Without any legal authority, not to mention legitimacy, the EBA knitted together a new definition of equity capital ... and no one wants to guess at the consequences," he said. "How this decision came to pass is hidden from the public view."
Michel Barnier has this afternoon insisted he will fully implement Basel III reforms after rumours emerged that EU draft legislation would see certain European banks able to sidestep the most stringent rules on capital requirements.
Speaking on Friday, the European Commissioner for the internal market said he would not be "swayed by various pressures" and slammed the criticisms as "unjustified" and "factually wrong".
Reports had suggested that banks with large insurance arms could escape the most stringent measures in the Basel III Accord by allowing them to count more capital held within their insurance arms towards the minimum capital levels they must hold. This would have given European banks an advantage over banks outside the bloc.
The financial crisis has shown the damage that irresponsible lending and borrowing practices can have on consumers and lenders, as well as the financial system and the economy at large. ?The draft set of rules presented today by the European Commission is designed to ensure a high standard of pre-contractual information and improved lending practices across Europe, while promoting a dynamic, competitive and more integrated Single Market for mortgage credit.
The financial crisis has shown the damage that irresponsible lending and borrowing practices can have on consumers and lenders, as well as the financial system and the economy at large. This is particularly important inin today’s integrated EU marketplace. With today's legislative proposal, the European Commission shows its determination to ensure that such practices are not repeated in the future, and to help consumers to regain confidence in the financial system. Borrowers will enjoy a higher level of protection through robust rules concerning advertising, pre-contractual information, advice, creditworthiness assessment, and early repayment. The requirement to provide personalised information to the consumer through a European Standardised Information Sheet will allow consumers to compare mortgage conditions from different providers. The proposed Directive also aims to create a more efficient and competitive single market for mortgages by creating a level playing field for all actors involved and making cross-border activity easier. It now passes to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers for consideration.
European Securities and Markets Authority ESMA - Michel Barnier will have Verena Ross as first Executive Director
ESMA nominates Verena Ross Executive Director - The Board of Supervisors (BoS), ESMA’s decision taking body made up of 27 voting members, nominated Verena Ross today, for the post of ESMA’s first Executive Director, subject to confirmation by the European Parliament. The Executive Director will be entrusted with the day-to-day management of ESMA. According to the Regulation establishing ESMA, the Executive Director will serve a term of five years, renewable once.
At the European Union level, the legislative response to the crisis has been generally slower than in the United States for four main reasons. First, legislative proceedings are structurally slow in the European Union because of the complex interaction between the EU level and 27 sovereign states.
(28 January 2011) Euro-zone governments will increase the lending capacity of their bailout fund and make it more flexible, but governments won't raise its current €440 billion in guarantees, European Economics Commissioner Olli Rehn said in an interview Thursday.
The General Board of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) held its inaugural meeting today at the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt am Main.
Commission seeks views on possible EU framework for bank recovery and resolution to deal with future bank failures
Following the publication of a Communication on 20 October 2010 on a European crisis management framework for the financial sector, the European Commission has yesterday (6 January 2011) launched a consultation on technical details underpinning that framework. Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said:
"Although our first objective is better prevention, banks will fail in the future and must be able to do so without bringing down the whole financial system. That is why we must put in place a system which ensures that Europe is well prepared to deal with bank failures in an orderly manner – without taxpayers being called on again to pay the costs. A clear framework to manage cross-border banking crises is an essential complement to our work on supervisory and bank reforms."