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Parliamentary questions
PDF 48kWORD 18k
29 June 2020
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-002464/2020

Article 459 of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR)(1) empowers the Commission under specific conditions to adopt for a period of one-year stricter prudential requirements for the level of banks' own funds, large exposures, or public disclosure, in particular upon a recommendation or opinion of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) or European Banking Authority (EBA).

Measures may only be adopted under this article if the CRR and the Capital Requirements Directive(2) do not provide sufficient instruments to address changes in the intensity of micro-prudential and macro-prudential risks arising from market developments in or outside the Union affecting all Member States.

Article 459 CRR is not specific about what market developments might give rise to a change in the intensity of the risks and would justify adopting stricter prudential requirements. Such adverse market developments could have a wide range of causes such as exogenous shocks, market participants’ behaviour, and public authorities’ actions, including government actions. In past reports(3) on market developments that potentially require the use of Article 459 CRR, the Commission discussed developments and risks for the European economy identified at that time by the ESRB.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the Commission has not used the empowerment in Article 459 of the CRR, as it only allows tightening requirements. The Commission has instead proposed targeted legislative changes(4) to the CRR to facilitate bank lending amid COVID-19, while ensuring their continued resilience. This was part of a banking package including also an interpretative Communication(5) on the application of the accounting and prudential frameworks to facilitate EU bank lending.

(1)Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 20 13 on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012. OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p. 11‐337
(2)Directive 2013 /36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 20 13 on access to the activity of credit institutions and the prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms, amending Directive 2002 /87/EC and repealing Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC, OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p. 338
(3)The most recent report was published in 2017 and is available at https://ec.europa.eu/transparency/regdoc/rep/1/2017/EN/COM-2017-121-F1-EN-MAIN-PART-1.PDF.
(4)COM(2020) 310 final.
(5)COM(2020) 169 final.
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