03 June 2021
The European Banking Authority (EBA) published today its 2020 Annual Report, which provides a detailed account of all the work the Authority achieved in the past year and anticipates the key areas of focus in the coming year.
2020 was an important year for the EBA as it concludes a 10-year cycle of activities, which have contributed to a more solid banking sector. It has been also an exceptional year due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which introduced changes and challenges to the operational and policy work of the EBA.
The Annual Report presents the ad-hoc activities the EBA undertook to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the EU banking sector. In particular, the EBA put in place prudential and supervisory measures to support bank lending into the real economy by publishing Guidelines on legislative and non-legislative moratoria on loan repayments, as well as Guidelines on reporting and disclosure of exposures subject to measures applied in response to the COVID-19 crisis. The EBA also focused on assessing and monitoring the evolution of risks and enhancing transparency. Although it deemed necessary to postpone the 2020 EU-wide Stress Test, it carried out an additional Transparency Exercise to provide updated information on banks’ exposures and asset quality to market participants. Similarly, the COVID-19 outbreak also triggered the publication of an ad-hoc impact study on the implementation of Basel III in the EU. The Authority also addressed the issue of consumer protection in the area of payments and financial crime risks in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite all the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the EBA delivered on its key mandates and executed most of its 2020 Work Programme. The EBA continued monitoring the implementation of Basel III global standards to ensure the safe and smooth functioning of the EU banking system. It also advanced on its work on enhancing transparency in data and took steps towards becoming an integrated data hub.
In 2020, the EBA also focused on new and upcoming areas such as anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the financing of terrorism (CFT), sustainable finance and digital innovation.
The 2020 Annual Report also lies down the strategic priorities area for 2021, which include the review of the stress-testing framework, implementation of the mandates in the domain of AML/CFT, financial innovation and sustainable finance.