The Charter of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS)
Having regard to:
1) The mandate given by the ECOFIN Council to the Economic and Financial Committee to work on EU financial stability, supervision and integration (7 May 2002);
2) The reports of the Economic and Financial Committee on financial regulation, supervision and stability of 9 October 2002 and 28 November 2002;
3) The conclusions of the Ecofin Council of 8 October 2002 and 3 December 2002;
4) The Report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament and the Resolution of the European Parliament on prudential supervision in the European Union (6 November 2002 and 21 November 2002);
5) The Commission decision of 5 November 2003 establishing the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (2004/5/EC);
6) The Directive 2006/29/EC amending European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/12/EC, Council Directive 91/675/EEC (as last amended by Directive 2008/21/EC), Council Directive 85/611/EEC (as last amended by European Parliament and Council Directives 2001/107/EC, 2001/108/EC and 2008/18/EC), Directive 2002/87/EC (as amended by Directive 2008/25/EC), Directive 2002/83/EC (as amended by Directive 2008/19/EC), Directive 73/239/EEC (as amended by Directive 90/618/EEC), Directive 93/6/EEC, Directive 94/19/EC and establishing a new financial services committee organisational structure;
considering that the growth of efficient, competitive and sound banking markets, at the national, European and international levels, is necessary for the proper allocation of resources and the cost-effective financing of the economies of the Member States of the EEA;
considering the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide financial services within the EEA;
considering the necessity to eliminate obstructive differences between the laws of the Member States, to make it easier to take up and pursue the business of credit institutions;
considering that the protection of savings and the creation of equal conditions of competition are fundamental to achieving and maintaining sound and stable financial markets;
considering that close co-operation as well as information exchange between regulatory authorities are essential for the successful supervision of the European banking sector and that synergies between banking supervision and central bank oversight should be taken into account;
considering that apart from the central banks, Ministries of Finance should be taken into account in the context of the Memorandum of Understanding between the financial supervisors, central banks and the Ministries of Finance of the European Union on cross-border financial stability;
having regard to the importance of greater supervisory and regulatory convergence and a common supervisory culture for the achievement of an integrated banking market in Europe;
having regard to the benefits of co-operation with other sectoral regulatory networks;
having regard to the need to base all its actions around a common conceptual framework of overarching principles for the regulation of the European banking market;
having regard to the importance of involving all market participants in the regulatory process and to work in an open and transparent manner;
considering that the role of the Committee of the European Banking Supervisors is to:
(i) advise the Commission either at the Commissions request or on the Committees own initiative, in particular for the preparation of draft implementing measures in the field of banking activities;
(ii) contribute to a consistent implementation of EU directives and to the convergence of member States supervisory practises across the European Union;
(iii) promote supervisory co-operation, including through the exchange of information;
the members of the Committee resolve to adhere, both in principle and in practice, to this Charter and to the following provisions:
Article 1 Members of the Committee
1.1 Each Member State of the European Union will designate a senior representative from the national competent supervisory authority in the banking field to participate in the meetings of the Committee. This representative will be the voting member. In addition, each Member State will designate as a non-voting member a senior representative of the national central bank when the national central bank is not the competent authority. In the case that the national central bank is the competent authority, the Member State may designate a second representative from this institution. The European Central Bank will also designate a senior representative as a non-voting member.
1.2 Applying the same rules as in 1.1, the competent supervisory authorities in the banking field from countries of the European Economic Area, which are not members of the European Union, will designate senior representatives to participate in the meetings as observers. These observers will fully participate in the meetings without, however, participating in decision making.
1.3 Upon signing of the Accession Treaty, observership will be granted to the acceding countries, until they become members of the European Union.
1.4 The European Commission as well as the Chairs of the Banking Supervision Committee of the ESCB (BSC) and of the Groupe de Contact (GdC) will also have observer status in the meetings. Where a common interest to work together appears, the Committee may accept additional observers to participate in meetings.
1.5 The members of the Committee should keep the national members of the European Banking Committee informed about its discussions and, where necessary, make all appropriate national arrangements to be in a position to speak for all competent national authorities that have an interest in the discussed matter.
1.6 Where relevant to its work, the Committee may invite external experts.
Article 2 Chair
2.1 The Committee will be chaired, in a personal capacity, by a voting member. The Chair will be chosen by consensus or if consensus cannot be achieved elected with a majority of two thirds of the voting members for a period of two years. In this respect, the voting members should seek to represent the common view of voting and non-voting members of the Member State. For the duration of the Chairmanship period, the relevant supervisory authority will nominate an additional member as representative.
To assist the Chair, the Committee will also elect a Vice Chair among its voting members following the same procedure used to elect the Chair. The Vice Chair may replace and represent the Chair in case of absence or impediment.
2.2 The Chair organises and chairs the meeting of the Committee and executes all other functions delegated to the Chair by the Committee. The Chair is responsible for public relations and the representation of the Committee externally. The Chair is also responsible for the supervision of the Secretariat. After consultation with the Vice Chair, the Chair decides on the agenda of the meetings. The Chair may delegate some of its functions to the Vice Chair.
2.3 In addition to the Chair and Vice Chair and also for a period of two years, the Committee may elect up to four members to form the Bureau. These members shall reflect the composition of the Committee. The role of the Bureau is to advise and assist the Chair, e.g. in the preparation of meetings and in its administrative functions and to monitor the budget in close co-operation with the Chair and the Vice Chair. .
Article 3 Operational links with the European Commission
3.1 The representative of the European Commission will be entitled to participate actively in all debates, except when the Committee discusses confidential matters.
3.2 Representatives from the European Commission will be invited to participate actively in meetings of Expert Groups, under the same conditions as in Article 3.1.
Article 4 Tasks
4.1 The Committee will advise the European Commission on banking policy issues, in particular in the preparation of draft measures for the implementation of European legislation (defined as level 2 measures in the Lamfalussy Report). The Committee may provide this advice either at the European Commissions request or on its own initiative.
4.2 The Committee will respond within a time-limit, which the Commission may lay down according to the urgency of the matter, to the mandates given by the European Commission in respect of the preparation of implementing measures.
4.3 The Committee will foster and review common and uniform day to day implementation and consistent application of Community legislation. It may issue guidelines, recommendations and standards, relating to this and to other matters, that the members will introduce in their regulatory/supervisory practices on a voluntary basis. It may also conduct surveys of regulatory/supervisory practices within the single market. In addition, it may assess the degree of convergence reached by its members in the implementation of a given supervisory provision or practise, relying on self assessments conducted by its members and on independent reviews conducted by its Review Panel. Convergence will also be facilitated through the provision of a mediation mechanism.
4.4 The Committee will develop effective operational network mechanisms (including network mechanisms to promote the consistent functioning of colleges of supervisors) to facilitate the exchange of information in normal times and at times of stress and to enhance day-to-day consistent supervision and enforcement in the Single banking Market.
4.5 The Committee will observe and assess the evolution of banking markets and the global tendencies in banking regulation in respect of their impact on the regulation of the Single Market for financial services. It will also assess, from a supervisory perspective, the developments, risks and vulnerabilities in the EU banking sector that could affect the stability of EU markets and report to the competent European committees. In this respect, the Committee will particularly co-operate with the BSC.
4.6 The Committee will provide a platform for an exchange of supervisory information, in order to facilitate the performance of members tasks, subject to the relevant confidentiality provisions stated in the EU legislation. In exceptional circumstances and at the explicit request of an individual member, those members, who represent the competent supervisory authority and further institutions which have a material operational and practical involvement in banking supervision (in principle, the institutions represented in the Groupe de Contact), may meet in restricted session in order to discuss strictly confidential micro-prudential matters, without prejudice to existing agreements for exchange of information. Banking supervisors of EEA member countries who are observers of the CEBS may also join a restricted session.
4.7 The Committee will seek to enhance cross-sectoral convergence through co-operation with CESR, CEIOPS and any other level 3 committee which will be established in the financial sector.
4.8 The Committee will foster a common supervisory culture amongst its members.
Article 5 Working procedures
5.1 The Committee will meet at least three times a year. Additional meetings may be convened if and when appropriate.
5.2 All decisions will be taken by the members of the Committee which may delegate decisions to the Chair.
5.3 In its working and/or deliberation and/or decisions, the Committee will respect the national and EU legislation regarding secrecy and confidentiality.
5.4 The Committee will rely predominantly on the Groupe de Contact, which will be its main expert group and which will report to it. The Committee will endorse the Charter of the Groupe de Contact and its work programme.
5.5 In addition, the Committee established permanent expert groups, chaired by a committee member (or under the members supervision), working within specific terms of reference as well as a Review Panel, as referred to in 4.3. Also task-forces may be established with a given mandate and to be disbanded upon completion of the mandated work. The composition of such groups should be flexible in order to involve other relevant authorities where necessary.
5.6 The Committee will aim to work by consensus of its members. For the execution of its tasks as set out in Article 4 above, if no consensus can be reached, decisions will be taken by qualified majority, whereby each Member country has the same number of voting rights as in the Council as stated in the Nice Treaty(1). When a decision is taken by qualified majority, the Committee should identify and elaborate the opinion of individual members. With this aim, the different opinions of the members should be recorded.
5.7 Levels 3 measures (e.g. guidelines, recommendations and standards) taken either by consensus or by qualified majority are not legally binding. Members may not apply a measure a) for reasons of incompatibility of a measure with their national law or lack of competence due to legal impediments or b) in the case of a measure for which they expect vital political or technical impediments to exist or c) where the objectives of the measure are met through other means, or where the measures would be disproportionate in the context of the local market.
Members that do not intend to apply the measure in such a case will state their reasons in full, clarifying in detail the legal, political or technical impediment. This statement will be made public, for example by attaching it to the approved document and will be included in the Level 3 reports to the EU institutions. Moreover, the Committee may invite that member to endeavour to adapt accordingly its legal or regulatory framework and report on progress, if possible.
5.8 The Committee will ensure that in undertaking its work, it acts in conformity with the conceptual framework of overarching principles identified in the Ecofin Council Conclusions of 2002 and the Commission Decision establishing the Committee.
5.9 The Committee will publish its annual work programme. Generally, the Committee may publish a summary of the non-confidential results of its meetings.
5.10 The Committee will use the appropriate processes to consult (both ex-ante and ex-post) market participants, consumers and end users which may include inter alia: concept releases, consultative papers, public hearings and roundtables, written and Internet consultations, public disclosure and summary of comments, national and/or European focused consultations. The Committee will make a public statement of its consultation practices and may establish a market participants consultative panel.
Article 6 Accountability and institutional links
6.1 The Committee will transmit to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission its draft work programme. Subsequently, the Committee will report on an annual basis on the progress achieved on this programme. In addition, the Committee will submit an Annual Report to the European Commission which will also be sent to the European Parliament and the Council.
6.2 The Chair of the Committee will report periodically to the European Parliament and/or when requested by the Council, and shall maintain strong links with the European Banking Committee.
6.3 The Chair of the Committee may participate as an observer in the meetings of other committees and groups, both at the European as well as at the international level, on request and when relevant for the work of the Committee. On behalf of the Committee, the Chair may address these committees with matters of common interest. The Chairs of the respective committees may also be invited to participate as observers in the Committee.
6.4 The Chair of the Committee shall aim to ensure adequate cooperation, e.g. by holding periodical meetings with the Chairs of the BSC, the CESR, the CEIOPS and of any other level 3 committee which will be established to discuss cross-sectoral issues of common interest.
6.5 The Committee will foster the dialogue and co-operation with authorities of third countries.
Article 7 Secretariat
7.1 The Secretary General shall be appointed by the Committee after being proposed by the Chair for a period of three years. The Chair shall propose the Secretary General after consultation with the Vice-Chair and the Bureau. This contract is renewable. Other permanent or seconded staff are appointed on a personal basis by the Chairman after consulting with the Vice Chair and the Secretary General.
7.2 In general, the seconded staff of the Secretariat will be provided by the voting members of the Committee; it will work under the responsibility of the Chair in close co-operation with the Vice-Chair. The Secretariat shall prepare and maintain the minutes of the meetings, assist the Committee and the expert groups in their functions and, finally, execute all other functions assigned to it by the Committee or the Chair.
7.3 The Secretariat will act as a co-ordinator for all consultations and assist the Chair and the Vice Chair in their public relations activities and representation functions; it will also coordinate the co-operation with the European Commission and other Level 3-committees.
Article 8 Budget
8.1 The Committee will function with an annual budget. The Chair shall present, after consultation with the Vice-Chair and the Bureau, a proposal for this budget to the Committee no later than at the last meeting of the year preceding the budget year; the proposal has to be adopted by 31 December at the latest.
8.2 The members of the Committee and the observers mentioned in Article 1.2 will contribute annually to the budget. An internal rule will fix the amount of the annual individual contribution of each represented country, and the modalities of the payment. These contributions will be based on the number of votes held by the respective jurisdiction in Council meetings. If the country is not represented in the Council, contributions will be agreed on a proportional basis.
8.3 The Committee may receive external contributions or financing for specific projects, notably by the European institutions.
Article 9 Final provisions
9.1 This Charter will take effect on 10 July 2008.
9.2 The Charter may be amended by consensus.
9.3 The Committee may adopt further rules to facilitate its functioning.
(1) The votes of the members of the CEBS shall be weighted in accordance with Article 205(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community. For their adoption, decisions shall require at least 255 votes in favour, cast by at least two-thirds of the Member States. When a decision is to be adopted by CEBS by a qualified majority, a member may request verification that the Member States constituting the qualified majority represent at least 62 % of the total population of the Union. If that condition is shown not to have been met, the decision in question shall not be adopted.