EBA, EIOPA and ESMA consult on the prudential assessment of acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings

03 July 2015

The three European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs) are launching a public consultation on updated Guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions of qualifying holdings. The Guidelines define common procedures based on the assessment criteria laid down in the EU legislative framework(1) that establishes how acquisitions and increases of qualifying holdings by natural or legal persons in financial institutions should be assessed. The Guidelines aim to harmonise supervisory practices in the financial sector across the EU and to provide more clarity to proposed acquirers on how they should notify the competent supervisory authorities.
 
The European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) jointly reviewed and updated the non-binding guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions of qualifying holdings which had been developed in 2008 by the former three EU financial Committees (CEBS, CESR and CEIOPS).
 
The Guidelines develop further the assessment process defined in the EU legislative framework and harmonise across the EU the conditions under which the proposed acquirer of a qualifying holding in a financial institution is required to notify its decision to the competent authority that is responsible for the prudential supervision of the undertaking.
 
A clear and transparent procedure is defined for the prudential assessment by the competent authorities. The document looks at ensuring that the acquirer readily knows what information will be required, in order to allow the competent authorities to assess the proposed acquisition in a complete and timely manner.
 
Due to the increasing integration of financial markets and the frequent use of group structures that extend across the entire EU, a single acquisition may be subject to scrutiny in several Member States. For this reason, the work of the three ESAs applies the principle of maximum harmonisation of procedures initially set out by Directive 2007/44/EC and will also harmonise provisions in all three financial sectors in the EU (banking, investment and pensions/insurance).

Consultation process

Comments to this consultation can be sent clicking on the "send your comments" button. Please note that the deadline for the submission of comments is 2 October 2015. All contributions received will be published following the close of the consultation, unless requested otherwise.
The ESAs will hold a public hearing on the draft Guidelines, which will take place at the EBA premises in London on 20 August 2015 at 10:00 am local time.

Note to the editors

Directive 2007/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 (2) established the legal framework for the prudential assessment of acquisitions by natural or legal persons of a qualifying holding in a credit institution, assurance, insurance or re-insurance undertaking or an investment firm. In 2008 the three EU financial Committees (CEBS, CESR and CEIOPS – the predecessors of EBA, ESMA and EIOPA respectively) developed non-binding guidelines for the prudential assessment of acquisitions.