What is the Banking Union?
In response to the recent financial crisis, the European Commission pursued a number of initiatives to create a safer financial sector for the Single Market. These initiatives form a Single Rulebook for all financial actors in the EU Member States. They include:
- stronger prudential requirements for banks;
- improved protection for depositors;
- rules for managing failing banks
In addition to this Single Rulebook, which is the foundation of the Banking Union, there was a commitment by EU institutions to implement further measures step by step: shifting supervision to the European level, establishing a single framework for bank crisis management and setting up a common system for deposit protection.
The SRB: the single resolution authority for the Banking Union
The Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM- is one of the pillars of the Banking Union, alongside the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM). As of November 2014, the SSM is the new system of banking supervision in the Banking Union, comprising the European Central Bank (ECB) and national supervisory authorities of the participating Member States (National Competent Authorities). Under the SRM, centralised decision-making power in respect of resolution has been entrusted to the SRB, which derives its powers from both the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR).
The SRMR, adopted in July 2014, creates an integrated decision-making framework for resolution in the Banking Union as a complement to the SSM, which pursues a similar objective with respect to supervision.
11 October 2017 - Europan Commission "Completing the Banking Union by 2018":
The SRB’s operating structure
The Chair is responsible for, inter alia, the management of the SRB, its budget, preparing the work of the SRB in its Executive and Plenary Sessions, all staff matters, and matters of day-to-day administration. The Vice-Chair and the four full-time Board Members are responsible for individual directorates:
- Directorate A Resolution Strategy and Cooperation provides resolution expertise, including expertise related to financial stability analysis, and aims to ensure a common understanding within the SRM of horizontal and policy topics; in general, this Directorate also manages the SRB’s cooperation with its stakeholders, like the EC and the ECB;
- Three directorates (Resolution Planning and Decisions B, C and D) are directly responsible for preparing resolution plans and, if necessary, resolution schemes for the banks within the SRB’s remit, in cooperation with NRAs within the forum of Internal Resolution Teams (IRTs). As a general rule, each directorate covers specific countries;
- The Vice-Chair is responsible for Directorate E Corporate Services and the Single Resolution Fund. This directorate manages functions such as Human Resources, Information Technology, Finance and Procurement and Facilities, and is responsible for raising contributions to, as well as managing and investing the resources of, the SRF to ensure, if need be, the effective application of the resolution tools;
- Additionally, in the performance of her tasks, the Chair is assisted by a dedicated staff. In this regard, the General Counsel and Corporate Secretariat, the Policy Coordination and International Relations unit, the Communications team, Internal Audit and Accountant all form independent units within the SRB, reporting directly to the Chair.
The SRB has been operational as an independent EU Agency since 1 January 2015. The SRM started its work on developing resolution plans for banks from January 2015 and became fully operational, with a complete set of resolution powers, on 1 January 2016.