On November 3, the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs met for the public hearing of Daniele Nouy, Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank (ECB). A summary of the hearing can be found below.
Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Roberto Gualtieri (S&D, IT) began by welcoming Daniele Nouy and congratulated her on the comprehensive bank assessment and on the ECB taking over its supervisory task on November 4.
Daniele Nouy’s opening remarks outlined the process and results of the asset quality review and stress test on European banks, and the preparedness of the ECB to take over the role of European Supervisory authority.
Pablo Zalba Bidegain (EPP, ES) raised a number of questions about credit organisations. He asked about the impact of credit on small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and families, and whether more credit would be made available under the ECB supervision. Taking into account the requirements for the stress test, the results demonstrated a lot of differences, he explained.
Daniele Nouy explained that the ‘transparency’ within the assessment process would provide investors with confidence, and therefore encourage them to lend to banks and in turn, allow banks to lend to SMEs. She said the ECB was not the only actor in funding the economy, and other actors would have a role to play as well. Regarding the differences of outcomes for different countries, the comprehensive assessment did not aim to reflect the position of countries, but instead concerned banks. There was some correlation with the economic situation of the countries and the banks but it was primarily about ensuring buffers for banks, she reiterated.
Renato Soru (S&D, IT) explained that Italy was one of the countries which had been affected by the results of the stress tests. The Italian public needed to understand what these stress tests were, and believe in their transparency and impartiality. Some columnists had been asking questions about why the stress tests did not take into account a number of other factors. Italian public opinion did not understand what was going on, as state aid for banks had varied between countries. He asked whether this state aid had been taken into account.
Daniele Nouy reiterated that the tests were more about banks than about countries. The economic situation in Italy had played a large role in the fortunes of Italian banks. A fair exercise had been conducted and the methodology of the asset quality review and stress test were transparent, she suggested. Regarding the risk factors which had been tested, the ECB had tested both credit and trading risks. A stress test could not assess all risk, she said. The supervisory review process (pillar 2) was coming next and would include some other types of risk. It would use all the findings of the comprehensive exercise. Regarding state aid, there were different situations if plans were approved by the Commission, banks could use a dynamic balance sheet, and were treated accordingly by the ECB.