Corporate governance in financial institutions and remuneration policies

Key points:

In this opinion the EESC sets out its considered responses to the lengthy list of questions posed in the Commission's Green Paper.

The EESC welcomes the intent behind the Commission's Green Paper but notes some definitional shortcomings in its content, particularly on the precise definition of corporate governance, the differences in board structures between the Anglo Saxon and Continental systems as well as the concept of ''financial institution.''

The EESC also considers that:

- the Green paper is relatively parsimonious in its treatment of the needs of consumers,
- remuneration policy should not just be about those at the top of financial institutions but also about remuneration at all levels.

The broad thrust of the opinion is that there is scope for a tightening up of certain aspects of the governance of financial institutions but that while governance codes remain voluntary, the onus is upon the supervisory authorities to ensure that as far as possible, these codes are adhered to across the European Union.