Michael Noonan optimistic on EU banking agreement
EU leaders will today discuss banking union, a year after pledge to break link between sovereign and banking debt
Michael Noonan: “We’re expecting another long night, but I think we’ll work it out.”
Minister for Finance Michael Noonan struck a cautiously optimistic note ahead of last night’s talks on banking resolution that aim to secure agreement on EU rules on winding down banks ahead of today’s summit of EU leaders.
“We’re expecting another long night,” Mr Noonan, who chaired last night’s meeting of EU finance ministers, said on his way into the talks. “But I think we’ll work it out.”
Having failed to reach agreement on contentious bank resolution rules last Friday, the Irish presidency of the EU Council scheduled a second meeting last night in a bid to hammer out agreement on a common bank wind-down model before today’s summit.
EU leaders will today discuss progress on banking union, a year after the pledge to break the link between sovereign and banking debt.
But there are fears that the move towards EU-wide banking union is losing momentum, with Germany in particular at odds with a number of proposals being put forward by the European Commission.
Discussions on bank resolution, a key strand of banking union, have proven particularly contentious , as member states differ on how best to wind-down banks.
While a number of member states – particularly non-euro zone countries – favour greater flexibility in the application of bailout rules, Germany is calling for a more strict application of the pan-European regulations.
Swedish finance minister Anders Borg warned of the dangers of imposing uniformity on the financial sector.
“If you put on a straitjacket and then try to solve the crisis you will end up with a mess,” he said ahead of the meeting.
British officials also reiterated the UK’s desire for greater freedom in implementing EU bank resolution rules.
“If you are ever involved in one of those weekends to deal with a failing institution that can’t open Monday morning, you want to take decisions and not to find you have suddenly got [to deal with] processes and clearances,” said a senior British source in Brussels.