The lead MEPs in charge for the second pillar of banking union, the single resolution mechanism, have begun preparing texts for Parliament’s April plenary vote. These texts will take on board concerns of some member states in a spirit of compromise, while at the same time maintaining a credible and fair system, able to reach the fundamental goals. The MEPs restate that they will not sign up to a system with serious and evident flaws.
Failing banks still need a “strong and swift” EU decision-making system, and the European Central Bank Supervisor alone should decide when they are in danger of becoming unviable, ECB President Mario Draghi told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on Monday. The EU economy is now a “half full glass”, but it is “still too early to claim ‘mission accomplished’”, he added.
The EU/ECB/IMF "Troika" helped four EU countries out of the crisis and prevented it from getting worse. But flaws in the way the Troika worked hindered national "ownership" of economic reforms, and compromised transparency and accountability, says an Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee resolution passed on Monday.
The ultimate owners of companies and trusts would have to be listed in public registers in EU countries, under updated draft anti-money laundering rules approved by the Economic Affairs and the Justice and Home Affairs committees on Thursday. Casinos are included in the scope of the draft rules, but decisions to exclude other gambling services posing a low risk are left to member states.
Rules governing online payments by electronic transfer need an EU-wide update to improve security, reduce processing fees and widen consumer choice, said Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs endorsing draft legislation to this end on Thursday. The new rules would also encourage competition to provide payment services and innovative payment methods.
The fees that banks charge retailers for processing shoppers’ payments should be capped, Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs decided in a vote on Thursday. The cap would apply to both cross-border and domestic payments.
It is high time that finance ministers changed tack on Greece’s debt sustainability and accepted a bank resolution system that is less prone to political power games, MEPs urged at Thursday’s parliamentary hearing of Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem. The need to ease access to finance for small firms was also repeatedly raised.
Member States must seize the opportunity of this week's ECOFIN to allow real negotiations to begin with Parliament on the single bank resolution mechanism, including the single fund. The lead MEPs have highlighted their key criteria to ministers stressing that these elements would allow for taxpayer protection, a swift and efficient decision making process, and equal treatment of banks.
"Don't blame the fire brigade for fire damage", ECB Exective Board member Benoît Coeuré urged Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs at a hearing held on Thursday to assess the economic crisis recovery work of the ECB/EU Commission/IMF "Troika". This followed a committee debate on Wednesday about which findings to flag up in the Troika Inquiry report, which the committee will vote on in the last week of February.