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European Commission - Statement

Speaking notes of Commissioner Jonathan Hill on Bank Structural Reform at ECOFIN meeting

Luxembourg, 19 June 2015

"Enormous progress has been made in the last few months. And I want to pay tribute to the Presidency – for all the time and energy dedicated to this file. As well as to my own services who have worked hand in hand with the Presidency and with all delegations on this complex and sensitive file.

The Commission originally brought forward a proposal in January last year. It was one of a package of measures to learn the lessons from the financial crisis and to strengthen our banking system and reinforce financial stability.

Its main aim was to ensure that some of the biggest banks in Europe did not take excessive risks and to ensure that we tackled the so-called "too big to fail" problem.

I know this has not been a straightforward proposal, in some Member States in particular.

The proposal was never aimed – although some thought it was - at calling into question the important role that universal banks play in supporting the financing of the wider economy. 

The text has changed substantially since the Commission's original proposal.

I think that some of these changes have been positive and promote an approach which is more favourable to growth and jobs, in particular for example the changes made to market marking. They are also very much in tune with what we are doing to promote the Capital Markets Union (which we will discuss later today).

There are other changes with which the Commission is less comfortable. In particular, we are concerned about the balance of powers between home and host authorities over separation decisions.

However, overall, we believe today's text is a reasonable and pragmatic compromise which forms a solid basis for future trilogues.

I now hope the European Parliament will also resume its discussions in the coming weeks and months so that we can proceed with trilogues in the autumn and put this file to bed before the year is out.

A final agreement will be important to strengthen financial stability, but also because banks need regulatory certainty and stability so they can plan ahead and play their role in the economy."

STATEMENT/15/5237

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