Daisy chain of internal MREL

The “daisy chain” deduction framework increases the necessity of legal certainty, predictability, and proportionality in the internal MREL (iMREL) regulation.

Resolution groups with entities in only one member state should be exempted from the “daisy chain” deduction framework. The transitional period for applying the requirements should also be extended to 1 January 2024. Moreover, ESBG warns that the introduction of the “daisy chain” proposed by the European Commission in late October should explicitly not increase other prudential requirements for banks. Finally, the scope of application of iMREL should be fixed at 5% of Total Risk Exposure Amount (TREA) for non-resolution entities in the level 1 text and not left at the discretion of the Single Resolution Board (SRB) as is currently the case.


Dominique Goursolle

ESBG elects Dominique Goursolle-Nouhaud as new president

The first woman president of the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) is Dominique Goursolle-Nouhaud, president of the National Federation of French Savings Banks. She was elected today by the ESBG General Assembly for a period ending in 2024.

Dominique Goursolle-Nouhaud was elected today as president of the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) for a three-year term. She is the first woman to occupy the position. She succeeds Helmut Schleweis, president of the German Savings Banks Association.

Together with ESBG members, Dominique Goursolle-Nouhaud will represent the specific model of savings banks, cooperative and retail banks at the European level. She is committed to showcase the social and economic contributions of the ESBG members to their communities.

She is committed to ensure that the specificities of the business model of the ESBG members are considered by EU policymakers. With ESBG, she will stand for a proportional application of regulation and supervision.

“We must defend the added value of our model”, said Dominique Goursolle-Nouhaud as she was elected. “Our strength today is to remain united to rise to the challenges of tomorrow. Let’s be stronger together”.

The members of the ESBG president committee are:

Isidro Fainé, president of CECA (Confederación Española de Cajas de Ahorros);
Helmut Schleweis, president of the German Savings Banks Association (Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband);
Jens Henriksson, president and CEO of Swedbank;
Gabriele Semmelrock-Werzer, president of the Austrian Savings Banks Association (Österreichischer Sparkassenverband); and
Gerhard Brandstätter, Chairman of Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano SpA.

About the National Federation of French Savings Banks

The National Federation of French Savings Banks (Fédération nationale des Caisses d’Epargne) is the body that represents 15 savings banks and regional cooperative banks, as well as their 4.5 million members and 2,600 elected representatives. Its main missions are to coordinate and strengthen the relation between the savings banks and their members/customers; to represent their common interests, in particular towards the public authorities; to support and train the elected representatives of the members; to define, coordinate and promote the social and environmental responsibility actions of the savings banks.

About ESBG

The European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) has 23 members in 18 countries. As some of its members are national organisations, ESBG represents the interests of over 800 banks working responsibly and closely with their communities and SMEs. Together, ESBG members manage assets worth €5,700 billion, serve 162 million Europeans and employ nearly 660,000 people.


Call for evidence on the European Commission mandate regarding the PRIIPs Regulation

In Europe there are many PRIIPs that retail investors can purchase. In the area of structured products (PRIPs) alone, there are more than 1.5 million of them.

Regarding the use of the Key Information Documents (KIDs) to choose or compare between the products that banks offer to their clients, we believe that they do not play a role in product selection per se; there are other sources of information and the KIDs, which are designed for retail investors, are not suitable as a basis for product comparisons by the sales offices. For product approval purposes, the sales offices have designed separate technical solutions to obtain the required information. These tools allow, for example, the filtering of products according to certain product designs such as capital protection or certain underlings. However, there are individual contents of the KIDs that are used by the institutions for product selection. This includes, for example, the SRI, which is also used for the target market under MiFID II product governance.


ESMA's review of the MiFID II best execution reports

The RTSs 27 (and 28) currently regulates the best execution reporting by execution venues and investment firms.

We understand that the crucial question for RTS 27 reports is if these reports should be re-instated. Based on the evidence we have with these reports so far, we do not think that they provide meaningful information which justifies the efforts of producing these reports. Neither have these reports been widely used by prospective recipients so far (measured by observed page views) nor are they helpful for investment firm’s own decisions to determine suitable best execution venues. We do not expect that the proposed modifications of RTS 27 reports would change that. Therefore, we welcome the European Commissions’s proposal to delete the Art. 27 (3) [RTS 27] as part of the Capital Markets Union package.


WSBI member and Scale2Save partner Centenary Bank launches paperless account opening technology

Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

WSBI member and Scale2Save partner Centenary Bank launches paperless account opening technology.
Digital-based CenteXpress savings account extends financial services to millions of unbanked Ugandans through social networks to increase financial inclusion.

Scale2Save project update in Uganda

​​​​​​​​​​​WSBI member and Scale2Save partner Centenary Bank launches paperless account opening technology.

Digital-based CenteXpress savings account extends financial services to millions of unbanked Ugandans through social networks to increase financial inclusion.

BRUSSELS, 23 June 2020 – Scale2Save project partner Centenary Bank, the largest Commercial Microfinance Bank in Uganda, launched recently a paperless bank account opening service – dubbed CenteXpress – intended to serve the unbanked Ugandan population during Covid​-19 and beyond.

Launched at the head office in Kampala, CenteXpress comes as Uganda faces the Covid-19 pandemic. Deploying and using appropriate solutions like a CenteXpress account puts people in the right direction to propel personal savings and business continuity. The CenteXpress account will build on initiatives already in place by the bank to extend financial services to people at all levels.

Commenting on the launch, Centenary Bank, Managing Director Fabian Kasi said, “It comes at a time when all sectors of the economy including banking and financial services are undergoing a new wave of change, which has warranted further investment in digitally driven solutions to our current gaps and challenges as a country.”

“According to the 2018 Financial Sector Deepening Uganda report on Banking the number of Ugandans without bank accounts or some form of structured and legal financial services currently stands at 89% or 16.5 million of the 18.6 million adult population of Uganda, an indication that there’s need to continuously develop banking services that meet customer’s needs across all age groups.”

How it works: Providing a digital account…instantly

The rising demand for the banking industry to adopt solutions that offer suitable banking experiences anytime and anywhere has inspired the integration of technology to respond with appropriate solutions. Centenary Bank does this through CenteXpress by issuing an instant bank account opened for people by any one of its customers. The offer aims to extend banking services to a customer’s family, friends, relatives, colleagues, and acquaintances, among others that are unbanked and yet need to use banking services. Again, it gives an opportunity to employ people to open accounts for others while earning a commission on each account.

Beatrice Lugalambi, General Manager Corporate Communications and Marketing, said: “A potential customer does not need to visit a bank branch to get a CenteXpress account opened for them, because any existing customer can open the account for anyone in short simple steps and in less than five minutes. No paper work is required during the account opening process for CenteXpress.”  This mobile savings account is intended to build the momentum of savings among our people especially now that Covid-19 has challenged us with the need to survive such challenges.

“For the existing customer to open a CenteXpress for another person, all they need to do is confirm that the person’s phone number is registered. The digital link then uses the CenteMobile App to capture all the necessary new customer information on the digital form provided, takes a photo of their National ID, then enters the phone number and address of the new customer. The Digital Link then deposits the minimum opening balance of Ushs.3,000 on the new account while the bank system credits the Digital Link’s account with Ushs.2,000 as commission for opening the account. The new client will receive SMS notifications with new pin and account details to confirm completion of the process and activation of the account.”

The account presents access to numerous benefits and banking services including, 24/7 access to one’s account using CenteMobile, Free balance inquiry, Withdrawals of up to 2 million shilling per day from all the bank’s digitally driven channels including CenteMobile, CenteAgent and the account is purely phone based.

Scale2Save and Centenary Bank

WSBI and Centenary Bank signed in late 2019 a memorandum of understanding for a new Scale2Save project to help small-scale savings work in Uganda. Signed during a ceremony on 18 October in Washington, D.C., the memorandum outlined two projects, on being CenteXpress, introduces financial incentives for existing customers to on-board new ones into the no-frills account. The project taps into and measures the influence and impact made by friends and family to boost uptake and active use of banks and their services within the retail and mass market. A related project also contained in the memorandum was to introduce and test a ‘No-Frills’ basic mobile-phone-operated savings account specifically designed for the low-income people. Centenary looks to launch and test the offer via CenteMobile – the bank’s digital channel.

Centenary Bank Managing Director Fabian Kasi said at the time of the memorandum signing that: “The mobile account will be scaled up to 187,500 customers by its Cente banking agent network, sales representatives and staff during the pilot phase.”

The no-frills account pilot aims in the medium- to long-term to establish a “gateway-to-banking” product for low-income Ugandans. People who start with the account, set for a pilot phase in Central and Western regions of the country, can graduate to a regular savings account. From there, they can eventually gain access to the full suite of banking products, including credit. The project is especially important for rural communities to flourish.

Commenting at the time on the initiative and support from WSBI under the Scale2Save programme, MoU signatory and WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose added: “Centenary Bank is taking an innovative, multi-pronged approach to address the need for viable small-scale savings. They also look to test shared agency infrastructure with Finca Uganda, another Scale2Save partner.”

About Centenary Bank

Centenary Bank is Uganda’s leading commercial microfinance bank, serving more than 1.8 million consumers, a quarter of the country’s total banking population. It also has a growing network of 186 ATMs, 74 branches, and over 400 Cente Agents across the country. Centenary Bank started in 1985 with two main purposes: serve the rural poor and make a meaningful contribution to the socio-economic development of Uganda. In 1993, it transitioned to Centenary Rural Development Bank Limited and licensed as a full-service commercial bank. The bank aims to be Uganda’s best provider of financial services, especially microfinance. Centenary Bank began in 1983 as a credit trust of the Uganda National Lay Apostolate. Its mission is “To provide appropriate financial services, especially microfinance to all people, in a sustainable manner and in accordance with the law.”​



Scale2Save case study: mobile financial services

Scale2Save Campaign

Micro savings, maximum impact.

​​​​​​​Explores the potential of mobile financial services for low-balance account holders. Part of Scale2Save's annual State of Savings and Retail Banking in Africa research series.​

Scale2Save case study: mobile financial services

​​​​​​​Explores the potential of mobile financial services for low-balance account holders. Part of Scale2Save’s annual State of Savings and Retail Banking in Africa research series.​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​>> See the full case study

>> State of the Sector Case Study 2020: Covid-19 Impact EN | FR

>> See Scale2Save webinar series

 >> Learn more about Scale2Save

​​​BRUSSELS, 29 March 2021 – A new case study from Scale2Save in partnership with FinMark Trust​ benchmarks the impact and potential of mobile financial services in several low-income markets in Africa. Released this week, the study identifies key considerations for financial service providers (FSPs) aiming to either introduce mobile services or expand their mobile offerings. 

The study features examples of FSPs in Africa, including smaller institutions crafting innovative and beneficial services. These show mobile financial services have potential for all FSPs and their customers. In order to meet market needs, mobile money may play a role, but providers do not necessarily need mobile money to become a mobile service provider. Mobile banking might as well be a meaningful option​.

Following two annual publications in 2018 and 2019 of the State of Savings and Retail Banking in Africa research series, this is the second in a series of case studies that focus on innovations and partnerships to deliver on financial inclusion in Africa.

Mobile money and financial inclusion

In most of sub-Saharan Africa, improving financial inclusion has been driven by the adoption of mobile money. Mobile money operators have cornered most of the growt​h in accounts. Mobile money aids gender equality: though a majority of account holders are men, the gender gap is smaller than for traditional accounts.​

Covid-19 accelerates mobile-led growth

The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated pre-existing, mobile-led growth in digital financial services. Though lockdowns have constrained economic activity, they have encouraged a surge in mobile money transactions, as users switch to electronic payments.

Outlook for mobile money in Africa

Institutions deploying new services must look carefully at each market, the role and position of other mobile FSPs, the underlying needs of customers, and the extent to which these needs are being met. FSPs can win significant advantages for themselves and for low-income customers by positioning services to address particular customer needs and marketing products effectively.

>> State of Savings & Retail Banking in Africa Case Study 2020: Covid-19 Impact EN | FR

>> State of Savings & Retail Banking in Africa Report 2019 EN I FR

>> State of Savings & Retail Banking in Africa Report 2018 EN I FR


Joint declaration on remote work and new technologies

On 7 December 2021, the European Banking Social Partners signed a Joint Declaration on Remote Work and New Technologies. The spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the constantly increasing use of digitalised systems and processes led the Social Partners to reassess and appropriately update our approach to remote work in the European Banking sector.

In adaptable pattern of remote work, which allows for both higher productivity and an improved work-life balance, is a key aspect of the current and future ways of working. Therefore, UNI Europa Finance together with the EBF’s Banking Committee for European Social Affairs (EBF-BCESA), the European Savings and Retail Banking Group (ESBG) and the European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB), worked together to ensure that employees’ and employers’ interests are safeguarded in these continuously changing working environments.

UNI Europa Finance President Michael Budolfsen said: “With remote work increasing at a rapid pace during Covid and beyond, it is opportune for the European Social Partners to come together to ensure this new way of working will stimulate a good work-life balance and not have a negative impact on the sector and its workers”.

UNI Europa Finance Director Maureen Hick added: “UNI Europa Finance welcomes the signing of this Joint Declaration and the commitment made today that remote work will not lead to any significant changes to bank employees’ rights and conditions and should be a topic of collective bargaining at all levels”.

Jens Thau, Chairman of EBF-BCESA, pointed out: “Banks and its employees have a strong track record of embracing new developments and putting them to work for their clients. The new Joint Declaration underscores the social partners’ commitment to responsibly shape this process of transformation.”

Michael Kammas, Vice-Chairman of EBF-BCESA highlighted: “The expertise of the Social Partners is pivotal when it comes to address new ways of working. This new Joint Declaration not only comes in the most appropriate time due to the pandemic and the continuous technological advancement, but it also shows the Social Partners’ ability to work together and agree on common approach encompassing all the significant aspects of Remote Work to ensure banks’ competitiveness and adaptability to the digitalized world of work.”

Peter Simon, Managing Director said for ESBG: “The Social Partners continuously strive for stable working conditions in accordance with the greater working situation. The Covid-19 crisis has escalated the need to establish good teleworking practices and adapt many roles to remote work. This Joint Declaration strengthens our commitment to employees to provide a secure environment”.

Nina Schindler, CEO of EACB explained: “The Social Partners’ agreement on the Joint Declaration on Remote Work is an effective and timely response to changes in working conditions. By signing this Joint Declaration, we demonstrate as the EACB our intent to safeguard the interests of European co-operative banks’ employees.”

The Social Partners have always proactively engaged with the effects of digitalisation. This new Joint Declaration builds on our previous commitments on Telework (2017) and on the Impact of Digitalisation on Employment (2018) by focusing on remote work as a specific type of adaptation to the way of working in the digitalised era. Understanding, shaping and keeping up with technological developments are very much at the heart of the European Social Partners’ approach in order to contribute to a strong and resilient banking industry.

To this end, the Social Partners have agreed to a common understanding regarding key aspects of remote work. These include collective trade union rights, health and safety, work-life balance, working hours and the right to disconnect, digital rights, resource and equipment costs, and access to training and career development.

This Joint Declaration on Remote Work and New Technologies is another significant achievement for the European Banking Social Partners, showing our continued commitment to engage together in current issues of common interest and adding our unique knowledge and contribution to the general debate on digitalisation.