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European Commission - Press release
Internal Market: Commission requests Belgium and Greece to implement bank capital rules
Brussels, 16 June 2011 - The European Commission has requested Greece and Belgium to notify within the next two months the measures they are taking to implement important rules concerning capital adequacy for banks and investment firms as laid down in the Second Capital Requirements Directives (known as CRD II).
The aims of the Directives are to reinforce the stability of the financial system, reduce banks' risk exposure and improve the supervision of banks that operate in more than one EU country. The deadline for implementing these rules was 31 October 2010.
The Commission's request takes the form of a "reasoned opinion". If the national authorities do not notify the necessary implementing measures within two months, the Commission may refer the Member States concerned to the Court of Justice.
What are the rules in question? The Directives in question amend the original Capital Requirements Directives (2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC). Their aim is to ensure the financial soundness of banks and investment firms by stipulating how much of their own financial resources banks and investment firms must have in order to cover their risks and protect their depositors. In the coming weeks, the European Commission will table new proposals amending existing rules to update the existing framework so that it responds even better to the needs of the financial system.
The main changes introduced by Directives 2009/27/EC, 2009/83/EC and 2009/111/EC (which make up CRD II) are as follows:
How are Belgium and Greece not respecting these rules? Belgium still needs to transpose a number of provisions concerning the supervision of banks and investment firms. Greece has not taken national measures to ensure the cooperation and exchange of information between supervisory authorities and it has not enacted the obligation to adhere to standards issued by the new European Banking Authority. Although the Belgian and Greek authorities have indicated their intention to take the necessary measures to implement the remaining provisions of the Directives, they have not yet done so.
How are EU citizens and/or businesses suffering as a result? The Directives aim at ensuring the financial soundness of banks and investment firms and at reducing excessive and imprudent risk-taking practices. The current financial crisis proves how important addressing these two aspects is for citizens, businesses and society as a whole. If common rules are not upheld at the same level across the EU, this would leave room for current loopholes to be exploited.
Latest information on infringement proceedings concerning all Member States:
For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/408