BRUSSELS, 29 June 2015 – The banking-savvy Luxembourg government should have a promising semester at the helm of the next EU Council presidency starting July 1, according to ESBG experts and Coordination Committee leaders who met with Grand Duchy officials on June 26.
The Luxembourg Presidency shared with the delegation its main priorities, notably the much-anticipated Banking Structure Reform legislative “trialogues” between commission, council, and parliament. Officials do not see much wriggle room to veer from the council position, especially the rejection of automatic separation of retail banking from trading. ESBG also opposes the automatic separation proposal. There was confirmation that trialogues on Data Protection and the Shareholders Rights Directive are on the agenda, along with securitisation – the first legislative proposal around Capital Markets Union.
Operational regulation: banks as EU economy backbone
The Luxembourg Presidency favours an “operational” regulation which folds into the rules the important role banks hold as an engine of the economy. It is a welcome position for savings and retail banks, who provide a lion’s share of lending to small and medium-sized business that employ two-thirds of the entire EU workforce. Respect for the European Supervisory Authorities' mandate will also gain focus, along with the need for updated impact assessment in case of changes along the regulatory process, and the improvement of the delegated act process.
ESBG ‘Positions’ policy document presented
ESBG representatives presented the trade body’s stance on all discussed issues outlined in the recently updated ESBG Positions document. The fifteen-page sheet provides policymakers a summary of trade body positions covering a slew of EU policy areas affecting savings and retail banking, touching on more than a dozen topics. Areas discussed during the meeting held in Luxembourg are outlined in ESBG Positions.
ESBG plan follow up contact with the Luxembourg presidency at a more technical level.