ECON Committee Puts Interest of Banks Above European Citizen

  • Major deviations from Basel III granted to EU banks despite warnings from supervisors.
  • One-for-one rule abandoned by European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, leaving EU citizens and taxpayers to foot the bill for a future climate-driven financial crisis.
  • Finance Watch calls on Members of the European Parliament to fix ECONs mistake by asking for a plenary vote and tabling the one-for-one rule.

Finance Watch, founded after the global financial crisis to help policymakers make decisions that protect EU citizens and safeguard financial stability, is disappointed that Members of the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) today failed to faithfully implement Basel III. The adopted banking package deviates considerably from the Basel framework agreed internationally and disregards the recommendations of bank supervisors.

Finance Watch deeply regrets the committee’s failure to adopt a one-for-one rule. The rule would not impact sound European banks, but would safeguard against reckless risk-taking and help protect citizens and taxpayers from a climate-driven financial crisis. This decision is especially shocking as MEPs have agreed today to introduce higher capital requirements for crypto assets – banks will need to have enough of their own funds to cover losses that occur due to their crypto exposures.

Benoît Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch, said: “Today, the ECON committee has put the interest of banks above the interest of European citizens. When it comes to the climate crisis, the longer you wait, the bigger the risks. How MEPs could introduce a one-for-one rule for crypto and then not do so for new fossil fuel projects is beyond comprehension.”

Members of the ECON committee caved to pressure from the financial lobby, but the European Parliament can still rectify this mistake. Finance Watch now calls on MEPs committed to tackling the climate crisis to ask for a plenary vote and table the one-for-one rule to ensure EU citizens are shielded from a climate-driven financial crisis.

To arrange an interview with Benoît Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch, please contact Alison Burns at alison.burns@finance-watch.org or call on +32 (0)471577233

About Finance Watch

Finance Watch is an independently funded public interest association dedicated to making finance work for the good of society. Its mission is to strengthen the voice of society in the reform of financial regulation by conducting advocacy and presenting public interest arguments to lawmakers and the public. Finance Watch’s members include consumer groups, housing associations, trade unions, NGOs, financial experts, academics and other civil society groups that collectively represent a large number of European citizens. Finance Watch’s founding principles state that finance is essential for society in bringing capital to productive use in a transparent and sustainable manner, but that the legitimate pursuit of private interests by the financial industry should not be conducted to the detriment of society.

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