The Provision of Critical Functions at Global, National and Regional Level - Is there a need for further legal/regulatory clarification if liquidation is the default option for failing banks?

30-11-2017

This paper defines critical banking functions and considers whether there is a need for further legal/regulatory clarification if liquidation is the default option for failing banks. We rely on EU law and soft law principles (FSB) bearing in mind that ‘liquidation’ is at times a loosely defined concept. Despite efforts to agree upon a set of qualitative and quantitative criteria to assess the critical nature, or lack thereof, of relevant functions we argue that simplification is needed. Given the discretionary element in the determination of public interest and critical functions and the existence of different legal sources with different purposes, we recommend a consistent application of the resolution rules to build up credibility in the Banking Union project, considering in particular the differential treatment by the competent resolution authorities in recent Spanish and Italian liquidation and resolution cases.

This paper defines critical banking functions and considers whether there is a need for further legal/regulatory clarification if liquidation is the default option for failing banks. We rely on EU law and soft law principles (FSB) bearing in mind that ‘liquidation’ is at times a loosely defined concept. Despite efforts to agree upon a set of qualitative and quantitative criteria to assess the critical nature, or lack thereof, of relevant functions we argue that simplification is needed. Given the discretionary element in the determination of public interest and critical functions and the existence of different legal sources with different purposes, we recommend a consistent application of the resolution rules to build up credibility in the Banking Union project, considering in particular the differential treatment by the competent resolution authorities in recent Spanish and Italian liquidation and resolution cases.