Friday 18 October 2019

Noonan to chair crunch talks on European banks

Colm Kelpie in Brussels

FINANCE Minister Michael Noonan will chair formal talks in Brussels today on proposed European- wide rules dealing with failing banks and those in difficulties.

Central to the Irish presidency contribution is the so-called hierarchy of bail in, setting out which class of creditor will suffer losses in the event of a bank wind down.

Mr Noonan described today's talks on bank resolution as a political discussion and not one leading to a formal resolution. It has been put on the agenda of June's EcoFin meeting also.

"There are a number of political issues outstanding," he said.

"But we'll concentrate first of all on the scope of the resolution, what flexibility there may be between member states, the issue of depositor preference."

A proposal from the Irish presidency would see depositors with more than €100,000 "bailed-in" after senior bond holders. Currently senior bond holders and wealthy deposit holders are treated equally.

The so called "deposit preference" proposal would see depositors ranked at the very end of the bail in process, with other creditors including bondholders and shareholders first absorbing losses.

Talks will also take place on the EU's amended 2013 budget, which is linked to ongoing negotiations on the EU's multi annual budget, the multi annual financial framework 2014 to 2020.

Mr Noonan said he had spoken with Germany, France and Spain concerning the budget over the weekend. He said he believed agreement could be reached to proceed to talks with the European Parliament.

Ministers will also discuss tax evasion and fraud, which has moved up the political agenda across Europe in recent months.

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