01 Jul 2013

Tough love for sinners in the eurozone banking union

Stefano Micossi

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The ministers of finance and the economy of the eurozone have now agreed on the main features of a new ESM instrument for the direct recapitalisation of euro area banks (Eurogroup, 2013) and on a framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions (Council of the European Union, 2013).

However, as Stefano Micossi explains in this Commentary, the text that has come out of the frantic late-night negotiations in the Ecofin Council seems to leave unwelcome uncertainty as to the real scope of the new rules in the different national jurisdictions, while the lack of depositor preference in the bail-in pecking order may result in destabilisation. The proposed system appears not only highly intrusive but it also places a considerable burden of aid to the failing institution on the member state, raising doubts about its ability to “break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns”.

Stefano Micossi is Director General of Assonime, Professor at the College of Europe and a member of CEPS Board of Directors.