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Prohibition of privileged access to financial institutions

This regulation specifies the types of acts concerned by the prohibition of measures establishing privileged access.


Council Regulation (EC) No 3604/93 of 13 December 1993 specifying definitions for the application of the prohibition of privileged access referred to in Article 104a of the Treaty [Official Journal L 332 of 31.12.1993].


"Measure establishing privileged access" means any binding measure adopted in the exercise of public authority which:

  • obliges financial institutions to acquire or to hold liabilities of public sector institutions or bodies;
  • confers tax advantages or financial advantages which may benefit only financial institutions acquiring or holding such liabilities.

Privileged access is not regarded as being established by those measures which give rise to:

  • obligations for funding social housing, when the funding terms prevailing for the public sector are identical to those granted to private borrowers;
  • the obligation to centralise funds with a public credit institution, in so far as such a constraint is intended to provide financial security for the whole of the network or for specific savings arrangements designed for households;
  • obligations to finance the repair of disaster damage, provided that the conditions for financing repairs are not more favourable for the public sector than for the private sector.

"Prudential considerations" are those designed to promote the soundness of financial institutions so as to strengthen the stability of the financial system as a whole and the protection of the customers of those institutions.

"Public undertaking" means any undertaking over which the State or other regional or local authorities may exercise directly or indirectly a dominant influence by virtue of their ownership of it, their financial participation therein or the rules which govern it.

The following institutions do not form part of the financial institutions covered by the Regulation:

  • the European Central Bank and national central banks;
  • post office financial services when they form part of the general government sector or when their main activity is to act as the financial agent of government;
  • the institutions which are part of the general government sector or the liabilities of which correspond completely to a public debt.

This Regulation refers to the former numeration of the Articles before the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which introduced a new system of numbering. Article 104 A is from now on Article 102 of the EC Treaty.


ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Regulation (EC) No 3604/9301.01.1994-OJ L 332 of 31.12.1993
Last updated: 08.08.2005
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