Rescue plan for Eurozone banks
EU finance ministers have been negotiating a rescue plan for failing banks to prevent tax payer bailouts in the future.
Countries such as Spain, Greece, Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland were hit hard by the European economic crisis and it came to a huge cost for the taxpayer. In this new rescue plan a new EU agency will have authority over failing banks and how they are managed. The finer points of just how much power this agency will have is still being hotly debated and has yet to receive confirmation from the European Parliament.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that European ministers agreed that the responsibility of bailing out collapsing banks should be taken by investors and creditors rather than being left to taxpayers.
Within the plan will be an EU Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) which would have a joint rescue fund of approximately €55bn and be established over a ten year period. It would begin with each country having their own national banking resolution fund and then gradually amalgamating the funds into a central reserve.
Before this, a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) will be implemented next year, giving the European Central Bank the authority of acquiring power over major Eurozone banks. There will also be a joint guarantee scheme for bank depositors, rather than each country having its own and working with an agreed EU-wide ceiling.
The support of Eurozone member countries of this rescue plan, specifically of the SRM, varies. France is fully supportive but Germany doesn’t want it to cover all 6,000 banks in the region over concerns that German taxpayers will end up bailing out banks in other EU states.
Preventing another economic crisis is the main aim of this reform. European banks will have to provide detailed recovery plans and action will be taken quickly as soon as their situation becomes untenable. The European Central bank is also conducting more “stress tests” to uncover any potential deficiencies and increase stability in the Eurozone as a whole.