Follow Us

Follow us on Twitter  Follow us on LinkedIn

03 July 2013

Plenary Session: Parliament sets out priorities for overhauling EU banks

Default: Change to:

Bank board members must be personally liable for mistakes, and banks' riskier trading activities must be clearly separated from their more conservative lending ones, said MEPs in a resolution setting out Parliament's priorities for a broad overhaul of EU banks.

The non-legislative resolution, an input to Commission proposals due in September, also stresses the need for more competition in the banking sector and for further reform of banks' remuneration and corporate governance structures.

Arlene McCarthy (S&D, UK), the MEP steering the position through Parliament told fellow MEPs: "We need to deliver a change in culture... We are not out to ban activities but we want a structured and responsible universal banking model which can ensure funding to the real economy. Banking will always have risks but in a free market economy these should not be borne by very generous tax payer safety nets".

The resolution, adopted by 528 votes to 87 with 73 abstentions, identifies core principles for structural reform, including:

  • reducing excessive risks, ensuring competition, reducing complexity and limiting interconnectedness in EU banks, by separating banking activities that are essential for the real economy from risky trading and investment ones,
  • improving corporate governance and creating incentives for banks to establish transparent organisational structures, increasing accountability and reinforcing a responsible and sustainable remuneration system,
  • strengthening personal liability and liability for board members,
  • ensuring that essential retail activities continue uninterrupted by problems caused by the investment arm of a bank,
  • ensuring that risky trading and investment activities do not benefit from implicit guarantees or subsidies, the use of insured deposits or taxpayer bailouts,
  • separating sources of funding and balance sheets for retailand investment activities and ensuring that capital is not shifted from deposits and credit activities to risky trading activities,
  • promoting effective, fair and sustainable competition among banks so as to develop a well-functioning and efficient banking sector which facilitates lending to the real economy by ensuring universal access to banking services and reducing the cost of banking services, and
  • ensuring that in the event of a bank’s failure, depositors can still have access to funds and that essential services credit, payment and deposit activities continue.

Press release

© European Parliament

< Next Previous >
 Hover over the blue highlighted text to view the acronym meaning
Hover over these icons for more information

Add new comment