04 April 2011
EU Commissioner, Michel Barnier, paid his inaugural visit to the recently established European Banking Authority (EBA) on 1 April, 2011.
M. Barnier was warmly welcomed by the EBA Chairperson, Andrea Enria, the EBA staff and other guests, including MEP Sharon Bowles, representatives from UK political, financial and monetary bodies and dignitaries of the City of London.
In his opening address, Andrea Enria underlined the importance of close co-operation and coordination within the new supervisory architecture. This collaboration with the EU Commission, the other institutional partners in the EU and the national supervisory authorities "should be understood not merely as an exhortatory notion but in the sense of supervisory convergence and cooperation, as opposed to the regulatory competition we experienced in the run up to the crisis" said the EBA Chairperson.
The pivotal role of the EBA within the new supervisory architecture was one of Commissioner Barnier's key messages: "the establishment of the European Banking Authority is a milestone for Europe, its financial markets and centres, and the EBA has the potential to make a real difference by contributing to a safer, sounder and more responsible financial system".
"The activity of the EBA is much more than mere coordination and cooperation", added Barnier, as "more convergence among member states both on rules and on supervisory practices is required to achieve a single EU rulebook. And this is not an option but a must".
Barnier also recalled some of the key challenges the EBA is currently confronted with, including the on-going round of stress tests and remuneration policies. With reference to the 2011 EU-wide stress test, Barnier insisted on the need for this stress test to be "credible, robust and ambitious in terms of disclosure and transparency".
On behalf of the EU Parliament, MEP Sharon Bowles highlighted the importance of the three European Supervisory Authorities which "are not merely a crisis response, but an evolutionary process dictated by the logical need of a single market for financial services".
Thomas Huertas, the EBA Alternate Chairperson, in his closing remarks also expressed the commitment of the EBA Members to closely cooperate with the EU institutions to meet all the challenges the EBA will be facing in the future.