03 Dec 2015

Completing the Banking Union: Deposit Insurance

Daniel Gros

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Author: Daniel Gros

Series: CEPS Policy Brief No. 335  No of pp: 8

It is generally agreed that a Banking Union should have common or ‘single’ institutions responsible for carrying out three basic functions: supervision, resolution and deposit insurance.  So far, however, agreement has been reached in the EU on only the first two of these functions.

The Commission has now presented its proposal on how to complete the Banking Union with a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS).  It is an innovative and courageous proposal. It is courageous because it will clearly be very controversial in a number of member states (especially Germany) and it is innovative because it proposes a three-stage process, starting with re-insurance, then switching to co-insurance and finally to full direct insurance of deposits via a ‘single’ Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF). This final stage should be reached in 2024, which is also the date at which the Single Resolution Fund (SRF) will become the only source of financing for bank resolution. The Commission’s proposal calls for integrating the decision-making for EDIS into the decision-making entity for the SRF, namely the existing Single Resolution Board (SRB). This makes sense if one views resolution and deposit insurance as two highly interlinked dimensions of dealing with banks in trouble. In this view the two dimensions should be bundled into one institution – and one suspects that over time the two funds (the SRF and the DIF) could be merged into one.

This Policy Brief argues that re-insurance should not be considered as a transitory phase, but could also provide a solution for the long run. ‘Experience rating’ could be used to ensure a proper pricing of risk and to protect the interests of the depositors in countries with safer banking systems. Moreover, EDIS should have a decision-making structure separate from and independent of the SRM, since it has mainly a macroeconomic function.

Daniel Gros is Director of CEPS.

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