EU acts to avoid future bailouts

EU acts to avoid future bailouts

European parliament

Proposals have been adopted today by the European Commission for EU-wide rules for bank recovery and resolution in order to avoid future bank bail-outs.

In order to maintain essential financial services for citizens and businesses, governments have had to inject public money into banks and issue guarantees on an unprecedented scale. Between October 2008 and October 2011, the European Commission approved €4.5 trillion (equivalent to 37% of EU GDP) of state aid measures to financial institutions.

The proposals mean that in future authorities will have the means to intervene both before problems occur and early on in the process if they do. Furthermore, if the financial situation of a bank deteriorates beyond repair, the proposal ensures that a bank’s critical functions can be rescued while the costs of restructuring and resolving failing banks fall upon the bank’s owners and creditors and not on taxpayers.

EU President Barroso said: “The EU is fully delivering on its G20 commitments. Two weeks ahead of the summit in Los Cabos, the Commission is presenting a proposal which will help protect our taxpayers and economies from the impact of any future bank failure. Today’s proposal is an essential step towards Banking Union in the EU and will make the banking sector more responsible. This will contribute to stability and confidence in the EU in the future, as we work to strengthen and further integrate our interdependent economies”

Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier said: “The financial crisis has cost taxpayers a lot of money. Today’s proposal is the final measure in fulfilling our G20 commitments for better financial regulation. We must equip public authorities so that they can deal adequately with future bank crises. Otherwise citizens will once again be left to pay the bill, while the rescued banks continue as before knowing that they will be bailed out again.”