Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN): extracts from the press conference
Lieu: Brussels, Belgium - Council/Justus Lipsius
End production: 13/11/2012 First transmission: 13/11/2012
The European Ministers for Finance, meeting today in Brussels, discussed the latest progress made in the negotiations with the European Parliament of a number of legislative dossiers:
- financial services: bank supervision (update on progress and exchange of views, with a view
to reaching an agreement in December) and bank capital requirements (update on
negotiations with the European Parliament);
- economic governance: "two-pack" (update on progress and adjustment of negotiating
- taxation: financial transaction tax (update on progress on enhanced cooperation).
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Vassos Shiarly, Cypriot Minister for Finance, on capital requirements for banks and investment firms, saying that the CRD4 is aimed at transposing into EU law the Basel 3 agreement approved by the G20 in November 2010. It will form an essential element of the EU's single rulebook and it is important to have it adopted before the Single Supervisory Mechanism enters into force. A number of key issues still have to be resolved. These include capital conservation buffer and the flexibility for Member States to impose additional capital as well as liquidity ratios.
||Cutaway of press
||SOUNDBITE (English) by Vassos Shiarly on the latest progress made at establishing the Single Supervisory Mechanism, saying that ministers today provided guidance on some of the key outstanding issues so that preparation of this legislation can continue to work. Deadline is tight, Jan.1st 2013. Ministers will meet again on December 4th to consider final text of legislation. Once approved, the text will then be negotiated with the European Parliament.
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Michel Barnier, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market and Services,
on bank bonuses, saying that the Council needs to be still more ambitious to reach a compromise with the EP. The EP position is to set a 1 to 1 ration between the fixed and variable remunerations. One has to tell bankers that they are not outside society and that some bonuses are simply not understandable. Compromise has to be found on this probably working with other supplementary rations in terms of time, in terms of bonuses paid straight away. Another issue that should be put into the text is the matter of shared responsibility. Bankers have to be made responsible so that there is no short-term running of their banks. Shareholders need to be made more responsible.
||SOUNDBITE (French) by Michel Barnier on banking supervision, saying that today's talks showed positive momentum. It is possible although difficult to attain the objective set by the Heads of State and Government for a political agreement on this European supervision to be obtained with the European Parliament.