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Parliamentary questions
PDF 41kWORD 9k
25 May 2020
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Marco Zanni (ID), Francesca Donato (ID), Valentino Grant (ID), Antonio Maria Rinaldi (ID)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Possible distortions of competition in the German banking system

The ECB’s report on the risks of less significant institutions and the Commission’s study on the differences between accounting standards used in the banking union show that German banks are subject to a different supervisory accounting framework, leading to possible distortions of competition and systemic risks. 

Less significant institutions (LSIs) in Germany, which are not supervised by the ECB, accounted for 55% of total LSI assets in the euro area in 2018. Furthermore, non-listed publicly owned banks in the euro area are predominantly located in Germany.

As recently seen in the NordLB case, preferential State aid rules apply to non-listed publicly owned banks, for which the boundary between private and public recapitalisation is unclear.

In addition, the main groups of Sparkassen and Landesbanken, using aggregation and consolidation accounting methods, include many LSIs and some SIs. However, despite their size they remain excluded from ECB supervision. This exempts them from having to adopt IFRSs on loan loss provisions, allowing them more operational flexibility.

Therefore, can the Commission state whether:

1. it considers it appropriate to review the application of the State aid rules for publicly owned banks in Germany, given the high level of concentration and amounts involved?

2. it considers that the banking supervision accounting methods adopted by the German banking system distort competition?



Original language of question: IT
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