1. The competent authorities shall refuse authorisation to commence the activity of a credit institution unless a credit institution has informed them of the identities of its shareholders or members, whether direct or indirect, natural or legal persons, that have qualifying holdings and of the amounts of those holdings or, where there are no qualifying holdings, of the 20 largest shareholders or members.
In determining whether the criteria for a qualifying holding are fulfilled, the voting rights referred to in Articles 9 and 10 of Directive 2004/109/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 December 2004 on the harmonisation of transparency requirements in relation to information about issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market (1) and the conditions regarding aggregation thereof set out in Article 12(4) and (5) of that Directive, shall be taken into account.
Member States shall not take into account voting rights or shares which institutions hold as a result of providing the underwriting of financial instruments or placing of financial instruments on a firm commitment basis included under point 6 of Section A of Annex I to Directive 2004/39/EC, provided that those rights are not exercised or otherwise used to intervene in the management of the issuer and are disposed of within one year of acquisition.
2. The competent authorities shall refuse authorisation to commence the activity of a credit institution if, taking into account the need to ensure the sound and prudent management of a credit institution, they are not satisfied as to the suitability of the shareholders or members, in particular where the criteria set out in Article 23(1) are not met. Article 23(2) and (3) and Article 24 shall apply.
3. Where close links exist between the credit institution and other natural or legal persons, competent authorities shall grant authorisation only if those links do not prevent the effective exercise of their supervisory functions.
The competent authorities shall refuse authorisation to commence the activity of a credit institution where the laws, regulations or administrative provisions of a third country governing one or more natural or legal persons with which the credit institution has close links, or difficulties involved in the enforcement of those laws, regulations or administrative provisions, prevent the effective exercise of their supervisory functions.
The competent authorities shall require credit institutions to provide them with the information they require to monitor compliance with the conditions referred to in this paragraph on an ongoing basis.