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2 0 1 2 a n n u a l r e p o r t
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Are the available and planned resources
adequate to cater for the growing needs of
the Authority?
As already mentioned, during the second year
of our existence, we have significantly in-
creased our resources. This growth is fully in
line with the start-up phase of the Authority.
Furthermore, we are envisaging new tasks in
the area of mediation and crisis management
stemming from the entry into force of the new
legislative proposals on crisis management.
In terms of constraints, the inflexibility of our
establishment plan as for headcounts has
often been an obstacle to our ability to perform
our tasks in a timely fashion. In this respect,
we need to acknowledge that thanks to the
provision of short- and longer-term seconded
personnel by different national authorities, we
have been able to meet our growing resource
demands and to bridge the gap between our
needs and the timely availability of experts.
Considering the review of the European
System of Financial Supervision which is due
in January 2014, could you already provide
an assessment in practical terms of the
progress done so far by the EBA to meet its
objectives? In particular, what progress and
achievements have you made in the area of
consumer protection?
Throughout the last 2 years, we have widely
used all of the powers conferred to us by the
EBA regulation. Since its establishment, the
EBA has been working towards the achieve-
ment of a single set of harmonised rules, the
so-called ‘Single Rulebook’. This work intensi-
fied significantly in 2012 despite the pending
finalisation of the CRD IV/CRR text: six guide-
lines, four discussion papers, 14 consultation
papers and 23 draft technical standards, of
which 16 on own funds, were published for
public consultation. Furthermore, the EBA,
in an effort to technically influence legislative
proposals, provided several opinions which
were sent to the EU Commission, the Euro­
pean Parliament and the EU Council to enhance
the scope and quality of the Single Rulebook.
One of the key components of the EBA’s over-
sight activities in 2012 was the completion of
the recapitalisation exercise following a rec-
ommendation which called banks to set aside
a temporary capital buffer against sovereign
debt exposures and to increase their Core
Tier 1 capital ratio to reach a level of 9 % by
30 June 2012. The recommendation led to an
increase of European banks’ overall capital
positions of more than EUR 200 billion and
marked significant progress in strengthening
the overall resilience of the European banking
system. In preparation for the next round of
pan-­European stress tests, to ensure a more
robust and analytically sound stress test of EU
banks, the EBA has been assessing lessons
learnt from the 2011 exercise, engaging with
a wide range of stakeholders and working to
develop its methodology.
Another area of progress has been that of con-
sumer protection where the EBA, following a
survey conducted in 2011 aiming at identifying
the key issues and the potential concerns in
relation to complex financial products, worked
on developing opinions on good supervisory
practices on borrowers in payment difficulties
and on responsible lending. In the area of fi-
nancial innovation, the EBA’s work focused on
three specific areas: exchange-traded funds
(ETFs), contracts for difference (CfDs) and
structured products. Finally, the EBA organ-
ised its first EBA Day on Consumer Protec-
tion, where 135 representatives of the bank-
ing industry, national supervisory authorities,
consumer organisations and academia met
and discussed issues related to consumer
protection and financial innovation in banking
at European level.
Let me conclude by highlighting the joint ef-
fort made by the EBA and ESMA to strengthen
the Euribor and rate-setting processes to en-
sure a transparent and reliable benchmark for
financial transactions within the European
Union.