Macro and micro prudential supervision of the financial system

Macro and micro prudential supervision of the financial system

Key points:


Stakeholder groups

In an opinion on the de Larosière report, the EESC argued for wider representation on the Boards of the three new Authorities. Instead the Commission proposes special stakeholder groups: the ESRB should “seek, where appropriate, the advice of relevant private sector stakeholders.” Employers and trade unions at European level also ought to be consulted. The stakeholder groups for the three Authorities should have the option of following the work of the Authority in question permanently.


Macro-prudential supervision

The proposal for an ESRB lacks a definition of systemic risks. This concept needs to be discussed in public, not just behind closed doors in the new ESRB. The EESC's opinion is that the ESRB must have a clear mandate to act when financial stability is at risk and that, in order to guarantee this in the regulation, the wording of some passages should be reconsidered.

The EESC recommends that there should be five members from the ECB General Council in the Steering Committee.

Under article 20 the Council shall examine the Regulation on the ESRB after three years. The Parliament should of course also be involved in this.


Micro-prudential supervision

Technical standards should take the form of Decisions and not Regulations or Directives. Those are reserved for political rules proposed by the Commission.

The task of deciding whether there is an emergency situation should rest with the Council.

The EESC proposes that a national authority should give its consent before new financial instruments can be introduced, as is the case in Spain.

The field of action for the Banking Authority should, in the EESC's view, be as wide as possible. A level playing field for all financial institutions should be a general objective.

According to article 20(3) the Authorities may use confidential information received from the financial institutions only for the duties directly assigned to them by the Regulations. This statement ought to be complemented by a rule on how confidentiality must be protected.

It is proposed that the Management Board for these European Authorities should have four members from the national supervisory authorities. It instead seems natural to follow the proposal for the ESRB and have five members.

Only the heads of the national authorities will have voting rights on the Board of Supervisors. There is a risk with a Board of Supervisors supervising themselves. The importance of other aspects then increases. The independence of the Chairperson is crucial and he/she should have voting rights. Just as crucial is openness to and the influence of the stakeholder group. It is also necessary to operate transparently by making the decisions of the Authorities public.

If the activities of the Authorities start in 2011 it will take more than two years before they are fully active. It is necessary to speed up this expansion in order to quickly handle all the problems revealed during the crisis.