Luis Miranda, theintelhub.com |
Contributed by The Real Agenda
Ministers of Economy and Finance of the European Union reached an agreement early Thursday on the legal framework that will allow Europe to create a single banking supervisor.
The pact is the first step towards joining the euro zone bank and comes hours before the EU summit on Thursday, which will ratify the commitment.
It is expected that the bank becomes operational in March 2014.
During the hours leading up to the agreement, the main hurdle was the distribution of power and scope of the supervising entity, which as explained in previous reports published during 2012, will become the economic and financial beast the bankers have always dreamed about.
Germany wanted to exempt regional banks and savings banks from the control of the supervisor, while France, like Spain, defended the institution to supervise all institutions without exception.
The bank union is full of technicalities, but in reality it comes down to one detail: who has the power.
Germany has convinced others that the ECB will only oversee the nationalized banks and the largest institutions; those with assets in excess of 30,000 million or 20% of GDP, about 100 entities, to leave others in the hands of national supervisors.
Although initially it was thought that the supervisor could only have the power to control, at any given time, any entity in difficulty, Germany blocked that option, leaving out of the ECB’s orbit LÃ¤nder banks, which are supposedly loaded up with toxic assets.
These banks will remain under the supervision of the German Bundesbank.
Germany also imposes a watered down solution for the common guarantee fund (consisting simply of standardized national funds) and a considerable delay to the bank resolution fund (a mechanism to close banks if necessary), which at some point could be a form of mutualisation of euro problems to be done through back door deals.
And almost everything else gets delayed from the original schedule, against the advice of Italy, France and especially Spain, the country most affected by the financial cliff.
The bankers are already salivating due to the agreement. “Historic agreement on the supervisor!” said the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Financial Services, Michel Barnier, after 14 hours of meetings.