The Financial Stability Authority (FFSA) engages in active international cooperation in matters pertaining to resolution and deposit guarantee schemes. FFSA participates in several European bodies that prepare or develop European resolution or deposit guarantee schemes.
Exercising influence through participation in these bodies is important for ensuring the effective functioning of the mechanisms. At the same time, it enables FFSA to strengthen its own competence development.
FFSA acts as part of the second pillar of the banking union, which is the Single Resolution Mechanism. The mechanism consists of the Single Resolution Board (SRB), the Single Resolution Fund and the national resolution authorities.
FFSA also works closely together with the deposit guarantee systems in other countries. If the third pillar of the banking union – a European deposit insurance scheme (EDIS) – is implemented, the Financial Stability Authority will become part of EDIS.
The banking union protects financial stability in the EU
The purpose of the banking union is to ensure that the banking sector in the euro area is secure and reliable as well as regulated and supervised in a uniform manner. It is also intended to ensure that the problems of banks in serious difficulties are not addressed by using taxpayer funds and that the impacts of banking crises on the public economies of the area are minimised. The banking union aims to ensure that financial stability is maintained throughout the EU while enhancing the functioning of the internal market.
The decisions on establishing the banking union were made in the midst of the financial crisis that began in 2008. The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) became operational in 2014, followed by the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) a year later, in 2015. The banking union consists of the euro countries, but EU Member States that are not part of the euro area can also choose to participate in it. Croatia and Bulgaria are currently the two banking union members that are not part of the euro area.
The banking union’s Single Resolution Mechanism enables the effective resolution of banks and investment firms in situations where they would end up in serious financial difficulties in spite of the Single Supervisory Mechanism. It is intended to minimise the costs incurred by taxpayers and economies from the resolution of banks.
The banking union is based on the EU’s harmonised regulation of the financial sector, which is referred to as the single rulebook. The key regulations concerning the banking union are related to capital requirements for banks, the supervision of banks, the protection of depositors and the resolution of banks.
The banking union is usually described as consisting of three pillars. All of the pillars are based on the single rulebook.
The pillars of the banking union are as follows:
- The Single Supervisory Mechanism
- The Single Resolution Mechanism
- The European deposit insurance scheme
The Single Supervisory Mechanism is the responsibility of the European Central Bank (ECB), which is the supranational authority of the banking union. It works in close cooperation with the national supervisory authorities. The national supervisory authority in Finland is the Financial Supervisory Authority.
The ECB directly supervises all significant and large banks in the euro area in close cooperation with the national supervisory authorities. The responsibility for the supervision of other banks lies with the national supervisory authorities. More information on the Single Supervisory Mechanism is available on the website of the Financial Supervisory Authority.
Cooperation in the Nordic and Baltic regions
In the Nordic region, the FFSA engages in international cooperation in resolution colleges established for Nordic banking groups. The FFSA also engages in a significant amount of cross-border cooperation in deposit guarantee matters with the deposit guarantee systems of the other Nordic countries and the Baltic countries.
The Financial Stability Authority also participates in the Nordic Baltic Stability Group, which consists of government ministries, central banks and the supervisory and resolution authorities in the Baltic and Nordic countries. The region’s financial markets are interlinked in a manner that creates the need for the broad exchange of information and cooperation. The purpose of the cooperation is to promote financial stability and prevent the occurrence of financial crises in the region.
International cooperation on resolution
The FFSA’s key international cooperative body is its parent organisation, the Single Resolution Board. It is responsible for the planning and implementation of resolution concerning banking groups that are part of the ECB’s direct supervisory activities as well as multinational banking groups. SRB is an independent EU agency based in Brussels. It is also responsible for the Single Resolution Fund (SRF).
SRB works in close cooperation with the national resolution authorities as well as the European Commission and the European Central Bank’s bank supervision function. SRB’s objective is to ensure that the actions and decisions of the resolution authorities in the banking union are as uniform as possible and that all banks operating in the banking union are treated similarly regardless of which Member State they are located in.
The decision-making procedure of the banking union’s Single Resolution Board
SRB convenes in two compositions: Executive Sessions and Plenary Sessions. Executive Sessions are attended by the Chair, the Vice-Chair (as a non-voting member when the Chair is in attendance) and the four full-time Board Members of the SRB. The Executive Session drafts and, where possible, issues all decisions concerning resolution. It also makes all decisions concerning the SRB’s operational activities. When the SRB deliberates on the resolution of a specific bank, a representative of the national resolution authority of the Member State in question is invited to participate in the decision-making.
Plenary Sessions are attended by the members who attend Executive Sessions as well as the representatives of the national resolution authorities from all of the members of the banking union. Plenary Sessions discuss matters that are not related to resolution and decide on the use of the Resolution Fund’s assets whenever a proposal is made to spend more than five billion euros of assets from the Fund. Finland is represented in Plenary Sessions by the Director General of the Financial Stability Authority.
The representatives of the Financial Stability Authority actively participate in the SRB’s committees and the various working groups under them. The SRB’s objective is to establish common policies and guidelines for the euro area concerning resolution planning and the management of crises. The SRB’s ambitious Work Programme for the years ahead is available on their website.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) is another important cooperative body for the Financial Stability Authority in resolution-related matters. The Authority participates in the EBA’s Resolution Committee and the permanent and temporary working groups under it concerning both resolution and deposit guarantee schemes. Cooperation with the EBA is important because the scope of its activities covers the entire EU and its participants include representatives from all Member States, including those Nordic countries that are not part of the banking union. The operations in the Financial Stability Authority’s area of responsibility are subject to various guidelines, recommendations and standards issued by the EBA, which makes it especially important for the Authority to participate in its work.
International cooperation pertaining to deposit guarantee schemes
As Finland’s national deposit guarantee authority, the FFSA is closely involved in the work of the EBA’s Task Force on Deposit Guarantee Schemes and the working groups under it. The priorities of the EBA’s Task Force and its working groups include updating guidelines concerning deposit guarantee systems, assessing amendment needs concerning the Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive and assisting the European Commission in the development of the Directive as well as developing and measuring the effectiveness and capacity of the deposit guarantee systems in the entire EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) by means of a uniform stress testing framework.
In addition to cooperating with the EBA, the FFSA’s representatives actively participate in the committees and working groups of the European Forum of Deposit Insurers (EFDI) to share experiences and competencies as well as draft guidelines, reports and technical documents to support the operational development of deposit guarantee systems, for example. The Authority is also a member of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI). The primary objective of the EFDI and the IADI is to promote the effectiveness of deposit guarantee systems as well as cooperation and the sharing of information, competence and experiences.
The Deposit Guarantee Scheme Directive includes provisions concerning a cooperation obligation for deposit guarantee systems, particularly with respect to the payment of deposit guarantee compensation to depositors of a bank’s foreign branch, where the deposit guarantee system of the country the branch is located in is required to pay the compensation on behalf of the deposit guarantee system of the bank’s home country.
Based on the cooperation obligation stipulated by the Directive, the EBA has issued guidelines on cooperation agreements between deposit guarantee systems, and the FFSA complies with these guidelines. In accordance with the guidelines, the EFDI and the EBA have also prepared the EFDI Home/Host Multilateral Agreement, which the FFSA has joined. The multilateral agreement establishes a framework for cooperation pertaining to the branches of banks.
Multilateral cooperation is complemented by close bilateral cooperation, particularly with the deposit guarantee systems of those EU and EEA countries that host foreign branches of Finnish banks or whose banks have branches in Finland. With these countries, the FFSA concludes bilateral agreements particularly with regard to the practical arrangements related to the payment of compensation.
Director General Tuija Taos
Task Force on Deposit Guarantee Schemes
|Bank Resolution Expert Harri Hämäläinen|
|General Assembly||Member, Director General Tuija Taos
Deputy Member, Head of the Administrative and Deposit Guarantee Unit Saija Kuivalainen
|EU Committee||Head of the Administrative and Deposit Guarantee Unit Saija Kuivalainen|
|Cross-Border Working Committee||IT System Economist Kari Hietaniemi|
|Research Working Group|
|Subgroup Stress Tests||Deposit Guarantee Expert Anna Kanninen|
|Banking Union Working Group||Chief Economist Hanna Westman|
|Public Relations and Communications (PR) Committee||Chief Communications Officer Jouni Flink|
|General Meeting||Member, Director General Tuija Taos
Deputy Member, Head of the Administrative and Deposit Guarantee Unit Saija Kuivalainen
|Europe Regional Committee||Head of the Administrative and Deposit Guarantee Unit Saija Kuivalainen|
Chart: FFSA international cooperation on deposit guarantee schemes