Economic and monetary affairs and constitutional affairs committee MEPs backed the European Central Bank proposal to bring central counterparties within the scope of its regulatory powers.
The text was adopted with 43 votes to 7 and 6 abstentions.
The new ECB powers with regard to clearing systems for financial instruments should have to be restricted to monetary policy purposes. MEPs included an indicative list of regulatory powers that the ECB would apply under the amended Article 22 of the ECB Statute:
- reporting requirements
- requirements on the clearing system to cooperate with the ECB and national central banks in their assessment of the resilience of the system to adverse market developments
- opening a system of an overnight deposit account with the ESCB
- imposing requirements relating to liquidity risk controls, settlement arrangements, margins, collateral or interoperability arrangements in order to address situations of an imminent risk of substantial harm to financial institutions or markets within the Union or to the financial system of the Union or one of the Member States
- possibility for the ECB to propose additional requirements on third-country clearing systems for financial instruments of systemic importance
Moreover, MEPs ensured that the new ECB competences could be only exercised within the legal framework established by other EU institutions and that ECB actions are transparent and are accountable to the European Parliament and the Council.
Danuta Maria Hübner (EPP, PL), the rapporteur on behalf of the AFCO committee, said: "We had a delicate balancing act to perform in this amendment to the ECB statute. We had to find the right balance between creating legal certainty concerning exactly what powers will be conferred on the ECB and leaving flexibility to the ECB so that it is able to react to exceptional situations. We also had to find the right wording in order to preserve the existing institutional balance and ensure that both the regulatory powers of the co-legislators and the independence of the ECB are adequately respected. We finally had to ensure consistency between the amendment to the ECB statute and the agreement we reached one month ago in the revision of EMIR. I am confident the text adopted today ensures a proper balance in these various areas and will also allow the ECB to properly exercise the powers it will be granted over CCPs under the revised EMIR."
Gabriel Mato (EPP, ES), the rapporteur on behalf of the ECON committee, said: “I warmly welcome this agreement, whereby we provide the ECB with a clear legal competence in the area of central clearing. These new regulatory powers, which will be enshrined in primary law, will be appropriately framed to ensure that there can be no regulatory conflicts. This further strengthening of the ECB will ensure the effectiveness of monetary policy in guaranteeing financial stability.”
The text is going to be voted by the Plenary during an upcoming session (July or September).