Daniele Nouy got the green light from the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Thursday to chair the European Central Bank's Supervisory Board, the EU's newly-established watchdog tasked with directly overseeing the EU's largest banks as well as the work of national bank supervisors.
Danièle Nouy, the ECB's nominee for the new post of EU bank supervisor, was vetted by MEPs on Wednesday at a hearing in which she was quizzed about her views on banks' exposure to sovereign debt, the accountability of the future supervisor and the need to develop all the pillars of banking union.
Commissioners Olli Rehn and Laszlo Andor came under fire from various quarters on Thursday when presenting the Commission's Annual Growth Survey to MEPs on the Economic and Monetary Affairs and Employment committees. Many MEPs disputed Mr Rehn's claim that economies were improving and critised the Commission for continuing to administer more of the same medicine. German centre-right MEPs chided the Commission for having taken aim at their country in its latest assessment of EU economies.
Everyone legally residing in the EU must have the right to open a basic payment account, and this right should not be denied on grounds of nationality or place of residence, said the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee amending a draft law to this end on Monday evening. Moreover fees and rules for these accounts should be transparent and comparable, it adds. The text, approved by a large majority, will be put to a plenary vote in December before being fine-tuned with EU member states.
Draft EU legislation to reduce the riskiness of insurance firms’ investments – and taxpayer exposure to them – was informally agreed by Parliament and member state negotiators on Wednesday night. The rules applied to insurers will be like those already in place for banks, but adapted to their typically longer-term investment profile, so as not to penalise them for taking a long-run view.
MEPs laid into top European Central Bank and European Commission staff over the working methods of the ECB/Commission/IMF "Troika" at Tuesday's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee meeting. They demanded details of how Troika decisions were taken and what lessons had been learnt. They also sharply criticised the often mistaken economic forecasts behind the economic reform programmes demanded of Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal.
Small investors should get a Key Information Document (KID) giving clear, comparable and complete information on any investment product before signing a binding contract, said Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs voting on a draft law on Monday. The EU investment market is worth €10 trillion, so unsuitable investment products harm the economy, as well as small investors' interests, they add. Parliament will put the rules to a plenary vote before fine-tuning them with EU member states.
Rapporteur for rules on dealing with struggling banks Elisa Ferreira (S&D, PT) backed the key tenets of the Commission's proposal on Monday, including placing the EU executive at the heart of the system. She nonetheless tabled amendments requiring a financial safety net until the EU bank crisis fund is fully funded, strengthening depositor protection, and clarifying responsibilities at each stage of dealing with a failing bank. The amendments also step up European Parliament oversight.
European Semester economic policy coordination needs many fixes, not least to take proper account of growth, employment, investment and social concerns, warned the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee in a resolution voted on Monday. MEPs also called for more rules to ensure economic convergence and again underlined that democratic accountability and ownership must be improved.
The European Stability Mechanism's current legal setup would not allow it to become a "backstop" lender to a newly-created EU bank resolution fund, ESM Managing Director Klaus Regling told Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. Pressed repeatedly on the matter, Mr Regling did however concede that he was open to considering other possible legal interpretations which could justify this role for the ESM.