The European Commission (EC) has published a roadmap for a legislative proposal for the structural reform of EU banks. The expert group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector had stated that reforming the structure of banks was necessary to
complement the existing EU reforms taking place as they do not address all the underlying problems in the EU banking sector, i.e. They do not fully correct incentives for excessive risk-taking, complexity, interconnectedness and intra-group subsidies.
The European Commission is therefore assessing the different structural reform options to address these issues and to devise a European framework for action to preserve the integrity of the single market.
The roadmap sets out the main issues under consideration as:
- deciding which activities should be subject to separation requirements: these could include proprietary trading, market-making activities and securities underwriting;
- the nature and extent of the separation and governance of separated entities: the main option to be considered is whether the activities to be separated can still be conducted within a banking group; and
- thresholds and de minimis exemptions from the separation requirements if they meet certain de minimis criteria and conduct the relevant activities at a level that falls below a certain threshold.
The legislative proposal is due to be published in the third quarter of 2013.