EU Council Blinks First Over SRM

On 19 February 2014, the EU Council published a press release reviewing the state of play of negotiations over the single resolution mechanism (SRM).

Committed to reaching agreement over the SRM before the upcoming parliamentary elections, EU finance ministers had met the previous day in order to discuss possible adjustments to the Council’s December 2013 general approach to the SRM, with a view to giving more flexibility to the presidency in the forthcoming “trilogue” negotiations.  Wiggle room was noted as existing in the following areas: Continue reading

ECB Wants Beefed-Up SRM

On 12 February 2014, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a speech by Mario Draghi, ECB President, on financial integration and EU banking union.

Mr Draghi conceded that there were improvements that could be made to elements of the Council’s proposal on the Single Resolution Mechanism Continue reading

Parliament Offers Olive Branch Over Resolution Funding?

On 4 February 2014, the EU Parliament published a press release on the latest negotiations over bank resolution.

As previously reported (see this blog post for more detail), negotiations over resolution funding seemed largely to have reached an impasse.  However, yesterday’s tone seems somewhat more conciliatory in nature. Continue reading

SRM- Mexican standoff Euro-style

The Conference of Presidents Group have held intensive talks with their EP negotiators on the state of SRM play. The result is firmly-worded missive sent today from their own current President, Martin Schulz, to Commission President Manuel Barroso, summary translations in bold italic: Continue reading

EU Banking Reform Legislation Expected January 2014

On 11 December 2013, the European Commission published a press release containing remarks made by Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services on EU banking structural reform.  Mr Barnier stated that the legislative proposal on EU banking reform will be presented at the beginning of January 2014.  Following the recent publication of the Volcker Rule on 10 December 2013, the Commission will also look at the details of this new rule (see this blog post for more details).  For certain banks deemed too big to fail, he explained that the EU banking reform proposal will consider separation, calibration and treatment of the risks taken by these banks.

ECB President on SSM

Another speech on the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) from the European Central Bank (ECB) this time by ECB President, Mario Draghi, titled “The future of Europe” was presented in Frankfurt on 22 November 2013. Continue reading

SSM to Come Into Force by End of 2014

On 14 October 2013, the European Central Bank (ECB) published a speech given by its President, Mario Draghi, on 12 October 2013 regarding the Euro area economic outlook, ECB monetary policy and current policy challenges.

The speech was wide-ranging, but touched upon progress made to date in establishing European banking union.  Mr Draghi welcomed the approval of the single supervisory mechanism (SSM) by the European Parliament on 12 September and looked forward to its “urgent adoption” by the EU Council later this month, with a view to the ECB adopting its new supervisory role by November 2014.  In addition, Mr Draghi supported the establishment of the single resolution mechanism (SRM), “a necessary complement to the SSM”, by the end of 2014.

Council Deals Blow to SRM

The Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) proposed by the EU Commission in July has suffered a fresh blow (see this blog for SRM background).  On 7 October 2013, an opinion from the European’s legal service sheds serious doubt on the legality of giving a new agency wide discretion to close troubled banks under EU treaties, potentially undermining a key element of the resolution proposal.

The 26-page document warns of the pitfalls involved in giving a body too many powers and in particular states that “The legal service considers that the powers which would be conferred by the proposal of the board…need to be further detailed in order to exclude that a wide margin of discretion is entrusted to the board”.  The legal opinion may cause the EU Commission to rethink the proposal, causing more delays.  The first stage of the proposal which involves the European Central Bank directly supervising 130 top euro zone lenders has already been delayed to the end of 2014.  The SRM which forms one of the building blocks of the EU Banking Union now needs backing of member states to become law.

EU Commission proposes Single Resolution Mechanism

On 10 July 2013, the EU Commission proposed a Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), a complement to the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and one of the building blocks of EU Banking Union.  The SRM is designed to ensure that the resolution of a failing bank can be managed efficiently with minimal costs to taxpayers and the real economy.

The proposed SRM would apply the substantive rules of the Recovery and Resolution Directive (RRD). The EU’s Council of Finance Ministers reached agreement on a general approach to the RRD on 27 June and the EU Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs adopted its report on 20 May. Negotiations between the Council and the European Parliament are due to start soon with the aim of reaching final agreement on the RRD in autumn 2013.  At its recent meeting, the EU Council of Ministers set themselves the target of reaching agreement on the SRM by the end of 2013 so that it can be adopted before the end of the current European Parliament term in 2014. This would enable it to apply from January 2015, together with the RRD.

Under the SRM:

  • the European Central Bank (ECB) would signal when a bank in the euro area or established in a Member State participating in the Banking Union was in severe financial difficulties and needed to be resolved;
  • a Single Resolution Board, consisting of representatives from the ECB, the EU Commission and the relevant national authorities, would prepare the resolution of a bank;
  • a Single Bank Resolution Fund, funded by contributions from the banking sector and replacing national resolution funds, would be set up under the control of the Single Resolution Board;
  • on the basis of the Single Resolution Board’s recommendation, or on its own initiative, the EU Commission would decide whether and when to place a bank into resolution and would set out a framework for the use of resolution tools and the Single Bank Resolution Fund; and
  • under the supervision of the Single Resolution Board, national resolution authorities would be in charge of the execution of a resolution plan.