Banking Reform: EU reaches agreement on first key measures
On Wednesday, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on elements of the review of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and Directive (CRD) proposed in November 2016, an important piece of the Commission’s ongoing work to reduce risk in the banking sector and in line with the efforts to complete the Banking Union, as set out in the Commission’s Communication of 11 October 2017. The agreement on the BRRD creates a new category of unsecured debt in bank creditors’ insolvency ranking. It establishes an EU harmonised approach on the priority ranking of bank bond holders in insolvency and in resolution. The agreement on the CRR/CRD implements the new International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS 9). This will help mitigate the impact of IFRS 9 standards on EU banks’ capital and ability to lend. It will also avoid potential disruptions in government bond markets that would result from rules limiting large exposures to a single counterparty. Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President responsible for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union said: “Today’s agreements are the first deliverables of our banking risk reduction package. First, harmonised rules for bank bond holders in a situation of insolvency gives banks clarity for building up buffers to absorb losses and protect taxpayers. It is a key step towards complying with the global standard on Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity (TLAC). This measure will also enhance the effectiveness of bank resolution processes. The second agreement gives banks more time to adjust to the introduction of the new accounting standard IFRS 9 and to the expiry of certain exemptions from the large exposure limits, thereby avoiding disruption in lending and in government bond markets.” Wednesday’s political agreements will be followed by further technical talks to finalise the text. A full press release is available online.