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The European Commission welcomes the political agreement to fast-track selected parts of the 2016 EU Banking Reform package, in a move that will further strengthen the resilience of the EU banking sector while mitigating negative impacts. The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on

elements of the review of the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) and of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR) and Directive (CRD) proposed in November 2016, an important piece of the Commission's ongoing work to reduce risk in the banking sector and in line with the efforts to complete the Banking Union, as set out in the Commission's Communication of 11 October 2017.

The agreement on the BRRD creates a new category of unsecured debt in bank creditors' insolvency ranking. It establishes an EU harmonised approach on the priority ranking of bank bond holders in insolvency and in resolution. The agreement on the CRR/CRD implements the new International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS 9). This will help mitigate the impact of IFRS 9 standards on EU banks' capital and ability to lend. It will also avoid potential disruptions in government bond markets that would result from rules limiting large exposures to a single counterparty.

The agreement on the harmonised rules on the priority ranking of bank bond holders in insolvency and in resolution facilitates a more efficient path towards banks' compliance with the TLAC standard that should apply from 2019 onwards, as agreed in the Financial Stability Forum. In addition, by providing greater legal certainty for both issuers and investors and reducing the risk of legal challenges, these harmonised rules will facilitate the application of the bail-in tool in resolution.

 

The new IFRS 9 accounting standards aims to address concerns that arose during the financial crisis by improving the loss provisioning of financial instruments. Such standards may lead to a significant increase in the provisions that banks have to make for loan losses. The agreement on a five-year phase-in period will allow banks to add back to their capital part of the increase in loan loss provisions. This will limit the potential negative impact on bank lending. The agreement also introduces a new transitional arrangement for large exposure limits in prudential rules. Banks with large holdings of government bonds not denominated in a domestic currency will have more time to adjust to the rules.

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