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E U R O P E A N B A N K I N G A U T H O R I T Y

10

nomic growth. It also identified more than 70

risks for users and market participants, risks

related to financial integrity like money laun-

dering and other financial crimes and risks for

existing payments in conventional currencies.

Based on this assessment, the EBA concluded

that a regulatory approach to address these

risks would require a substantial body of regu-

lation. However, considering that it would take

some time to develop such a regime and that

some of the risks have already materialised,

the EBA also addressed the Opinion to na-

tional supervisory authorities, advising them

to discourage regulated credit institutions,

payment institutions and e-money institutions

from buying, holding or selling virtual curren-

cies. This two-pronged approach will allow

virtual currency schemes to develop outside

the financial services sector and will also al-

low financial institutions to maintain a current

account relationship with businesses active in

the field of virtual currencies.

The EBA carried out an analysis of lending-

based crowdfunding, including identification

of risks to participants in this market, such

as lenders, borrowers and platform provid-

ers. The EBA specifically looked into the type

of regulation required in order to drive con-

fidence in this new market segment, as well

as reviewed present business models in the

sector. It concluded by considering the extent

to which the identified risks are already ad-

dressed in existing EU directives and regula-

tions and national regulatory frameworks.

The EBA’s collaborative

work

The EBA’s work with internal and external

stakeholders is an important part of its activi-

ties. As such, the EBA’s press and communi-

cation activities focused on ensuring that all

parties concerned by the work of the Author-

ity’s were correctly, consistently and timely

informed of any points of interest or concern.

In the course of 2014, the EBA focused heavily

on coordinating activities concerning the 2014

EU-wide stress test with the objective of pro-

moting clarity and understanding of the role

and objectives of the Authority itself, as well

as of the supervisory authorities competent

at Member States level. In addition to website

sections added for the 2014 EU-wide stress

test, many other new sections were added to

the website as well, including a new interac-

tive Single Rulebook tool. In October 2014, co-

inciding with the results of the stress test, the

EBA launched its Twitter account and YouTube

channel.

In 2014, the Joint Committee of the ESAs con-

tinued its work as a forum for cross-sectoral

coordination and exchange of information be-

tween the three authorities. Under the chair-

manship of the EBA in 2014, the Joint Com-

mittee in particular focused on the subjects of

cross-sectoral risks and consumer protection.

The Joint Committee produced two joint re-

ports on cross-sectoral risks and vulnerabili-

ties in the EU financial system, and has start-

ed an analysis of conduct of business risk. In

the area of consumer protection, the work

has focused on the development of regulatory

mandates under the Packaged Retail and In-

surance-based Investment Products (PRIIPs)

legislation.

Other areas of cross-sectoral actvity include

the development of guidelines on the consist-

ency of supervisory practices for financial con-

glomerates, work on securitisation, mandates

under the anti-money-laundering legislative

package, reducing over-reliance on credit rat-

ings and setting benchmarks.