European Commission submits to banking lobby

29 January 2014

European Commission submits to banking lobby

The banking lobby has once again been successful in diluting the rules designed to prevent a fresh credit crisis, SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong has concluded following the appearance of the Brussels executive’s plans for the European banking sector. ‘A good five years after the outbreak of the credit crisis the banking lobby is managing once again to defend itself from rules aimed at preventing a repeat,’ says De Jong. ‘So the saver and the taxpayer will remain exposed to risky banking activities. That’s unacceptable.’

The European Commission’s proposal represents a rejection of the advice in a report from its own High-level Expert Group on Bank Structural Reform – known, after the Group’s Chair, as the Liikanen Report – that megabanks should be obliged to separate their speculative, risky activities from their general services. This would have erected a wall between clients’ savings and bank actions in which large amounts of money can be lost. ‘Such a separation is needed even more with the scale of activities in the European banking sector being boosted by the Banking Union,’ says SP Member of Parliament Arnold Merkies. ‘In order to prevent the Dutch taxpayer from having to yet again cough up to save the banks, the government in implementing the advice of the De Wit Parliamentary Commission on the financial sector, and the Parliamentary Report ‘Towards a serviceable and stable banking system’ should also then establish compulsory severance between core banking services and business banking.’

On 6th February Parliament will debate the government’s views on the future of banking, and Merkies will use the opportunity to urge Finance Minister Jeroen to effect such a severance, leading to a stable and client-centred banking sector. Recently the SP produced an action plan on tackling speculation. ‘The Commission’s plans demonstrate once again the need for a strong SP so that we can fight in Brussels as well against the enormous influence of the financial lobby in Brussels,’ comments SP Euro-MP Dennis de Jong.

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