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EU sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS)

EESC opinion: EU sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS)

Key points:

The EESC

  • welcomes these proposals on sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBSs) that aims to tackle the traditionally close link between banks and their home countries ("sovereigns").
  • points out that the proposal simply constitute an enabling framework that allows the development of SBBSs by the market and underlines the importance to ensure the clarity, efficacy and effectiveness of this framework under all circumstances.
  • agrees with a number of aspects such as the principle of SBBSs being issued by a Special Purpose Entity (SPE).
  • highlights that other aspects, such as self-certification of the composition of the underlying portfolios by SPEs, need to be strengthened and calls for tighter and even prior monitoring by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA).
  • points out a number of unanswered questions: such as whether SBBSs will work effectively in all circumstances; how they would fare in times of general crisis, or of crisis in one or more Member States; what are the consequences of dividing issues into tranches, considering especially that the senior tranches (which entail less risk) can only be placed on the market if enough investors are found for the junior tranches (which entail greater risk).
  • considers it indispensable to undertake dialogue and consultation with all stakeholders in order to jointly develop constructive solutions.
  • considers that in conceptual terms, the idea of SBBSs is an attractive one and agrees with the Commission to put this proposal to the test on the market.
  • finally, the EESC feels that further thought also ought to be given to the matter of whether SBBSs can be acquired by private savers and consumers.