Search within this legal act



of 26 June 2013

on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in particular Article 114 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the European Commission,

After transmission of the draft legislative act to the national parliaments,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank (1),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (2),

Acting in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure,



The G-20 Declaration of 2 April 2009 on Strengthening of the Financial System called for internationally consistent efforts that are aimed at strengthening transparency, accountability and regulation by improving the quantity and quality of capital in the banking system once the economic recovery is assured. That declaration also called for introduction of a supplementary non-risk based measure to contain the build-up of leverage in the banking system, and the development of a framework for stronger liquidity buffers. In response to the mandate given by the G-20, in September 2009 the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), agreed on a number of measures to strengthen the regulation of the banking sector. Those measures were endorsed by the G-20 leaders at their Pittsburgh Summit of 24-25 September 2009 and were set out in detail in December 2009. In July and September 2010, GHOS issued two further announcements on design and calibration of those new measures, and in December 2010, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published the final measures, that are referred to as the Basel III framework.


The High Level Group on Financial Supervision in the EU chaired by Jacques de Larosière (the "de Larosière group") invited the Union to develop a more harmonised set of financial regulations. In the context of the future European supervisory architecture, the European Council of 18 and 19 June 2009 also stressed the need to establish a ‧European Single Rule Book‧ applicable to all credit institutions and investment firms in the internal market.


As stated in the de Larosière group's report of 25 February 2009 (the "de Larosière report"), "a Member State should be able to adopt more stringent national regulatory measures considered to be domestically appropriate for safeguarding financial stability as long as the principles of the internal market and agreed minimum core standards are respected".


Directive 2006/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 relating to the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions (3) and Directive 2006/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on the capital adequacy of investment firms and credit institutions (4) have been significantly amended on several occasions. Many provisions of Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC are applicable to both credit institutions and investment firms. For the sake of clarity and in order to ensure a coherent application of those provisions, they should be merged into new legislative acts that are applicable to both credit institutions and investment firms, namely this Regulation and Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council (5). For greater accessibility, the provisions of the Annexes to Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC should be integrated into the enacting terms of Directive 2013/36/EU and this Regulation.


Together, this Regulation and Directive 2013/36/EU should form the legal framework governing the access to the activity, the supervisory framework and the prudential rules for credit institutions and investment firms (referred to collectively as "institutions"). This Regulation should therefore be read together with that Directive


Directive 2013/36/EU, based on Article 53(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), should, inter alia, contain the provisions concerning the access to the activity of institutions, the modalities for their governance, and their supervisory framework, such as provisions governing the authorisation of the business, the acquisition of qualifying holdings, the exercise of the freedom of establishment and of the freedom to provide services, the powers of the competent authorities of the home and the host Member States in this regard and the provisions governing the initial capital and the supervisory review of institutions.


This Regulation should, inter alia, contain the prudential requirements for institutions that relate strictly to the functioning of banking and financial services markets and are meant to ensure the financial stability of the operators on those markets as well as a high level of protection of investors and depositors. This Regulation aims at contributing in a determined manner to the smooth functioning of the internal market and should, consequently, be based on the provisions of Article 114 TFEU, as interpreted in accordance with the consistent case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union.


Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC, although having harmonised the rules of Member States in the area of prudential supervision to a certain degree, include a significant number of options and possibilities for Member States to impose stricter rules than those laid down by those Directives. This results in divergences between national rules, which might hamper the cross-border provision of services and the freedom of establishment and so create obstacles to the smooth functioning of the internal market.


For reasons of legal certainty and because of the need for a level playing field within the Union, a single set of regulations for all market participants is a key element for the functioning of the internal market. In order to avoid market distortions and regulatory arbitrage, prudential minimum requirements should therefore ensure maximum harmonisation. As a consequence, the transitional periods provided for in this Regulation are essential for the smooth implementation of this Regulation and to avoid uncertainty for the markets.


Having regard to work of the BCBS' Standards Implementation Group in monitoring and reviewing member countries' implementation of the Basel III framework, the Commission should provide update reports on an ongoing basis, and at least following the publication of each Progress Report by BCBS, on the implementation and domestic adoption of the Basel III framework in other major jurisdictions, including an assessment of the consistency of other countries' legislation or regulations with the international minimum standards, in order to identify differences that could raise level playing field concerns.


In order to remove obstacles to trade and distortions of competition resulting from divergences between national laws and to prevent further likely obstacles to trade and significant distortions of competition from arising, it is therefore necessary to adopt a regulation establishing uniform rules applicable in all Member States.


Shaping prudential requirements in the form of a regulation would ensure that those requirements will be directly applicable. This would ensure uniform conditions by preventing diverging national requirements as a result of the transposition of a directive. This Regulation would entail that all institutions follow the same rules in all the Union, which would also boost confidence in the stability of institutions, especially in times of stress. A regulation would also reduce regulatory complexity and firms' compliance costs, especially for institutions operating on a cross-border basis, and contribute to eliminating competitive distortions. With regard to the peculiarity of immovable property markets which are characterised by economic developments and jurisdictional differences that are specific to Member States, regions or local areas, competent authorities should be allowed to set higher risks weights or to apply stricter criteria based on default experience and expected market developments to exposures secured by mortgages on immovable property in specific areas.


In areas not covered by this Regulation, such as dynamic provisioning, provisions on national covered bonds schemes not related to the treatment of covered bonds under the rules established by this Regulation, acquisition and holding of participations in both the financial and non-financial sector for purposes not related to prudential requirements specified in this Regulation, competent authorities or Member States should be able to impose national rules, provided that they are not inconsistent with this Regulation.


The most important recommendations advocated in the de Larosière report and later implemented in the Union were the establishment of a singlerulebook and a European framework for macroprudential supervision where both elements in combination were aimed at ensuring financial stability. The single rulebook ensures a robust and uniform regulatory framework facilitating the functioning of the internal market and prevents regulatory arbitrage opportunities. Within the internal market for financial services, macroprudential risks may however differ in a number of ways with a range of national specificities resulting in variances being observed for example with regard to the structure and size of the banking sector compared to the wider economy and the credit cycle.


A number of tools to prevent and mitigate macroprudential and systemic risks have been built into this Regulation and Directive 2013/36/EU ensuring flexibility while at the same time ensuring that the use of those tools are subject to appropriate control in order not to harm the function of the internal market while also ensuring that the use of such tools is transparent and consistent.


Beyond the systemic risk buffer tool included in Directive 2013/36/EU, where macroprudential or systemic risks concern a Member State, the competent or designated authorities of the relevant Member State should have the possibility to address those risks by certain specific national macroprudential measures, when this is considered more effective to tackle those risks. The European Systemic Risk Board ("ESRB") established by Regulation (EU) No 1092/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 (6) and the European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority) ("EBA") established by Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 (7) should have the opportunity to provide their opinions on whether the conditions for such national macroprudential measures are met and there should be a Union mechanism to prevent national measures from proceeding, where there is very strong evidence that the relevant conditions are not satisfied. Whilst this Regulation establishes uniform microprudential rules for institutions, Member States retain a leading role in macroprudential oversight because of their expertise and their existing responsibilities in relation to financial stability. In that specific case, since the decision to adopt any national macroprudential measures includes certain assessments in relation to risks which may ultimately affect the macroeconomic, fiscal and budgetary situation of the relevant Member State, it is necessary that the power to reject the proposed national macroprudential measures is conferred on the Council in accordance with Article 291 TFEU, acting on a proposal by the Commission.


Where the Commission has submitted to the Council a proposal to reject national macroprudential measures, the Council should examine that proposal without delay and decide whether or not to reject the national measures. A vote could be taken in accordance with the Rules of Procedure of the Council (8) at the request of a Member State or of the Commission. In accordance with Article 296 TFEU, the Council should state the reasons for its decision with respect to the conditions laid down in this Regulation for its intervention. Considering the importance of the macroprudential and systemic risk for the financial market of the Member State concerned and therefore the need for rapid reaction, it is important that the time limit for such a Council decision is set to one month. If the Council, after having examined the proposal by the Commission to reject the proposed national measures in depth, comes to the conclusion that the conditions laid down in this Regulation for the rejection of the national measures were not fulfilled, it should always provide its reasons in a clear and unambiguous manner.


Until the harmonisation of liquidity requirements in 2015 and the harmonisation of a leverage ratio in 2018, Member States should be able to apply such measures as they consider appropriate, including measures to mitigate macroprudential or systemic risk in a specific Member State.


It should be possible to apply systemic risk buffers or individual measures taken by Member States to address systemic risks concerning those Member States, to the banking sector in general or to one or more subsets of the sector, meaning subsets of institutions that exhibit similar risk profiles in their business activities, or to the exposures to one or several domestic economic or geographic sectors across the banking sector.


If two or more Member States' designated authorities identify the same changes in the intensity of systemic or macroprudential risk posing a risk to financial stability at the national level in each Member State which the designated authorities consider would better be addressed by means of national measures, the Member States may submit a joint notification to the Council, the Commission, the ESRB and EBA. When notifying the Council, the Commission, the ESRB and EBA Member States should submit relevant evidence, including a justification of the joint notification.


The Commission should furthermore be empowered to adopt a delegated act temporarily increasing the level of own funds requirements, requirements for large exposures and public disclosure requirements. Such provisions should be applicable for a period of one year, unless the European Parliament or the Council has objected to the delegated act within a period of three months. The Commission should state the reasons for the use of such a procedure. The Commission should only be empowered to impose stricter prudential requirements for exposures which arise from market developments in the Union or outside the Union affecting all Member States.


A review of the macroprudential rules is justified in order for the Commission to assess, among other things, whether the macroprudential tools in this Regulation or Directive 2013/36/EU are effective, efficient and transparent, whether new instruments should be proposed, whether the coverage and the possible degrees of overlap of the macroprudential tools for targeting similar risks in this Regulation or Directive 2013/36/EU are appropriate and how internationally agreed standards for systemically important institutions interacts with this Regulation or Directive 2013/36/EU.


Where Member States adopt guidelines of general scope, in particular in areas where the adoption by the Commission of draft technical standards is pending, those guidelines shall neither contradict Union law nor undermine its application.


This Regulation does not prevent Member States from imposing, where appropriate, equivalent requirements on undertakings that do not fall within its scope.


The general prudential requirements set out in this Regulation are supplemented by individual arrangements that are decided by the competent authorities as a result of their ongoing supervisory review of individual institutions. The range of such supervisory arrangements should, inter alia, be set out in Directive 2013/36/EU since the competent authorities should be able to exert their judgment as to which arrangements should be imposed.


This Regulation should not affect the ability of competent authorities to impose specific requirements under the supervisory review and evaluation process set out in Directive 2013/36/EU that should be tailored to the specific risk profile of institutions.


Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 aims at upgrading the quality and consistency of national supervision and strengthening oversight of cross-border groups.


Given the increase in the number of tasks conferred on EBA by this Regulation and by Directive 2013/36/EU, the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission should ensure that adequate human and financial resources are made available without delay.


Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 requires EBA to act within the scope of Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC. EBA is also required to act in the field of activities of institutions in relation to issues not directly covered in those Directives, provided that such actions are necessary to ensure the effective and consistent application of those Directives. This Regulation should take into account the role and function of EBA and facilitate the exercise of EBA's powers set out in Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010.


After the observation period and the full implementation of a liquidity coverage requirement in accordance with this Regulation, the Commission should assess whether granting EBA a power of initiative to intervene with binding mediation in relation to the reaching of joint decisions by the competent authorities under Articles 20 and 21 of this Regulation would facilitate the practical formation and operation of single liquidity sub-groups as well as the determination of whether criteria for a specific intragroup treatment for cross-border institutions are met. Therefore, at that time, as part of one of the regular reports on the operation of EBA under Article 81 of Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010, the Commission should specifically examine the need to grant EBA such powers and include the results of this examination in its report, which should be accompanied by appropriate legislative proposals, where appropriate.


The de Larosière report stated that microprudential supervision cannot effectively safeguard financial stability without adequately taking account of developments at macro level, while macroprudential oversight is not meaningful unless it can somehow impact on supervision at the micro level. Close cooperation between EBA and the ESRB is essential to give full effectiveness to the functioning of the ESRB and follow up to its warnings and recommendations. In particular, EBA should be able to transmit to the ESRB all relevant information gathered by competent authorities in accordance with the reporting obligations set out in this Regulation.


Considering the devastating effects of the latest financial crisis the overall objectives of this Regulation are to encourage economically useful banking activities that serve the general interest and to discourage unsustainable financial speculation without real added value. This implies a comprehensive reform of the ways savings are channelled into productive investments. In order to safeguard a sustainable and diverse banking environment in the Union, competent authorities should be empowered to impose higher capital requirements for systemically important institutions that are able, due to their business activities, to pose a threat to the global economy.


Equivalent financial requirements for institutions holding money or securities belonging to their clients are necessary to ensure similar safeguards for savers and fair conditions of competition between comparable groups of institutions.


Since institutions in the internal market are engaged in direct competition, monitoring requirements should be equivalent throughout the Union taking into account the different risk profiles of the institutions.


Whenever in the course of supervision it is necessary to determine the amount of the consolidated own funds of a group of institutions, the calculation should be effected in accordance with this Regulation.


According to this Regulation own funds requirements apply on an individual and consolidated basis, unless competent authorities do not apply supervision on an individual basis where they deem this appropriate. Individual, consolidated and cross-border consolidated supervision are useful tools in overseeing institutions.


In order to ensure adequate solvency of institutions within a group it is essential that the capital requirements apply on the basis of the consolidated situation of those institutions within the group. In order to ensure that own funds are appropriately distributed within the group and available to protect savings where needed, the capital requirements should apply to individual institutions within a group, unless this objective can be effectively achieved otherwise.


The minority interests arising from intermediate financial holding companies that are subject to the requirements of this Regulation on a sub-consolidated basis may also be eligible, within the relevant limits, as Common Equity Tier 1 capital of the group on a consolidated basis, as the Common Equity Tier 1 capital of an intermediate financial holding company attributable to minority interests and the part of that same capital attributable to the parent company support both pari passu the losses of their subsidiaries when they occur.


The precise accounting technique to be used for the calculation of own funds, their adequacy for the risk to which an institution is exposed, and for the assessment of the concentration of exposures should take account of the provisions of Council Directive 86/635/EEC of 8 December 1986 on the annual accounts and consolidated accounts of banks and other financial institutions (9), which incorporates certain adaptations of the provisions of Seventh Council Directive 83/349/EEC of 13 June 1983 on consolidated accounts (10) or of Regulation (EC) No 1606/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 July 2002 on the application of international accounting standards (11), whichever governs the accounting of the institutions under national law.


For the purposes of ensuring adequate solvency it is important to lay down capital requirements which weight assets and off-balance sheet items according to the degree of risk.


On 26 June 2004 the BCBS adopted a framework agreement on the international convergence of capital measurement and capital requirements (‧Basel II framework‧). The provisions in Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC that this Regulation has taken over form an equivalent to the provisions of the Basel II framework. Consequently, by incorporating the supplementary elements of the Basel III framework this Regulation forms an equivalent to the provisions of the Basel II and III frameworks.


It is essential to take account of the diversity of institutions in the Union by providing alternative approaches to the calculation of capital requirements for credit risk incorporating different levels of risk-sensitivity and requiring different degrees of sophistication. Use of external ratings and institutions' own estimates of individual credit risk parameters represents a significant enhancement in the risk-sensitivity and prudential soundness of the credit risk rules. Institutions should be encouraged to move towards the more risk-sensitive approaches. In producing the estimates needed to apply the approaches to credit risk of this Regulation, institutions should enhance their credit risk measurement and management processes to make available methods for determining regulatory own funds requirements that reflect the nature, scale, and complexity of individual institutions' processes. In this regard, the processing of data in connection with the incurring and management of exposures to customers should be considered to include the development and validation of credit risk management and measurement systems. That serves not only to fulfil the legitimate interests of institutions but also the purpose of this Regulation, to use better methods for risk measurement and management and also use them for regulatory own funds purposes. Notwithstanding this, the more risk-sensitive approaches require considerable expertise and resources as well as data of high quality and sufficient volume. Institutions should therefore comply with high standards before applying those approaches for regulatory own funds purposes. Given the ongoing work on ensuring appropriate backstops to internal models, the Commission should prepare a report on the possibility of extending the Basel I floor together with a legislative proposal, if appropriate.


The capital requirements should be proportionate to the risks addressed. In particular the reduction in risk levels deriving from having a large number of relatively small exposures should be reflected in the requirements.


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are one of the pillars of the Union economy given their fundamental role in creating economic growth and providing employment. The recovery and future growth of the Union economy depends largely on the availability of capital and funding to SMEs established in the Union to carry out the necessary investments to adopt new technologies and equipment to increase their competitiveness. The limited amount of alternative sources of funding has made SMEs established in the Union even more sensitive to the impact of the banking crisis. It is therefore important to fill the existing funding gap for SMEs and ensure an appropriate flow of bank credit to SMEs in the current context. Capital charges for exposures to SMEs should be reduced through the application of a supporting factor equal to 0,7619 to allow credit institutions to increase lending to SMEs. To achieve this objective, credit institutions should effectively use the capital relief produced through the application of the supporting factor for the exclusive purpose of providing an adequate flow of credit to SMEs established in the Union. Competent authorities should monitor periodically the total amount of exposures to SMEs of credit institutions and the total amount of capital deduction.


In line with the decision of the BCBS, as endorsed by the GHOS on 10 January 2011, all additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruments of an institution should be capable of being fully and permanently written down or converted fully into Common Equity Tier 1 capital at the point of non-viability of the institution. Necessary legislation to ensure that own funds instruments are subject to the additional loss absorption mechanism should be incorporated into Union law as part of the requirements in relation to the recovery and resolution of institutions. If by 31 December 2015, Union law governing the requirement that capital instruments should be capable of being fully and permanently written down to zero or converted into Common Equity Tier 1 instruments in the event that an institution is no longer considered viable has not been adopted, the Commission should review and report on whether such a provision should be included in this Regulation and, in light of that review, submit appropriate legislative proposals.


The provisions of this Regulation respect the principle of proportionality, having regard in particular to the diversity in size and scale of operations and to the range of activities of institutions. Respect for the principle of proportionality also means that the simplest possible rating procedures, even in the Internal Ratings Based Approach (‧IRB Approach‧), are recognised for retail exposures. Member States should ensure that the requirements laid down in this Regulation apply in a manner proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of the risks associated with an institution's business model and activities. The Commission should ensure that delegated and implementing acts, regulatory technical standards and implementing technical standards are consistent with the principle of proportionality, so as to guarantee that this Regulation is applied in a proportionate manner. EBA should therefore ensure that all regulatory and implementing technical standards are drafted in such a way that they are consistent with and uphold the principle of proportionality.


Competent authorities should pay appropriate attention to cases where they suspect that information is regarded as proprietary or confidential in order to avoid disclosure of such information. Although an institution may opt not to disclose information as the information is regarded as proprietary or confidential, the fact that information is being regarded as proprietary or confidential should not discharge liability arising from non-disclosure of that information when such non-disclosure is found to have material effect.


The ‧evolutionary‧ nature of this Regulation enables institutions to choose amongst three approaches to credit risk of varying complexity. In order to allow especially small institutions to opt for the more risk-sensitive IRB Approach, the relevant provisions should be read so that exposure classes include all exposures that are, directly or indirectly, put on a par with them throughout this Regulation. As a general rule, the competent authorities should not discriminate between the three approaches with regard to the Supervisory Review Process, i.e. institutions operating according to the provisions of the Standardised Approach should not for that reason alone be supervised on a stricter basis.


Increased recognition should be given to techniques of credit risk mitigation within a framework of rules designed to ensure that solvency is not undermined by undue recognition. The relevant Member States' current customary banking collateral for mitigating credit risks should wherever possible be recognised in the Standardised Approach, but also in the other approaches.


In order to ensure that the risks and risk reductions arising from institutions' securitisation activities and investments are appropriately reflected in the capital requirements of institutions it is necessary to include rules providing for a risk-sensitive and prudentially sound treatment of such activities and investments. To this end, a clear and encompassing definition of securitisation is needed that captures any transaction or scheme whereby the credit risk associated with an exposure or pool of exposures is tranched. An exposure that creates a direct payment obligation for a transaction or scheme used to finance or operate physical assets should not be considered an exposure to a securitisation, even if the transaction or scheme has payment obligations of different seniority.


Alongside surveillance aimed at ensuring financial stability, there is a need for mechanisms designed to enhance and develop an effective surveillance and prevention of potential bubbles in order to ensure optimum allocation of capital in the light of the macroeconomic challenges and objectives, in particular with respect to long term investment in the real economy.


Operational risk is a significant risk faced by institutions requiring coverage by own funds. It is essential to take account of the diversity of institutions in the Union by providing alternative approaches to the calculation of operational risk requirements incorporating different levels of risk-sensitivity and requiring different degrees of sophistication. There should be appropriate incentives for institutions to move towards the more risk-sensitive approaches. In view of the emerging state of the art for the measurement and management of operational risk the rules should be kept under review and updated as appropriate including in relation to the charges for different business lines and the recognition of risk mitigation techniques. Particular attention should be paid in this regard to taking insurance into account in the simple approaches to calculating capital requirements for operational risk.


The monitoring and control of an institution's exposures should be an integral part of its supervision. Therefore, excessive concentration of exposures to a single client or group of connected clients may result in an unacceptable risk of loss. Such a situation can be considered prejudicial to the solvency of an institution.


In determining the existence of a group of connected clients and thus exposures constituting a single risk, it is also important to take into account risks arising from a common source of significant funding provided by the institution itself, its financial group or its connected parties.


While it is desirable to base the calculation of the exposure value on that provided for the purposes of own funds requirements, it is appropriate to adopt rules for the monitoring of large exposures without applying risk weightings or degrees of risk. Moreover, the credit risk mitigation techniques applied in the solvency regime were designed with the assumption of a well-diversified credit risk. In the case of large exposures dealing with single name concentration risk, credit risk is not well-diversified. The effects of those techniques should therefore be subject to prudential safeguards. In this context, it is necessary to provide for an effective recovery of credit protection for the purposes of large exposures.


Since a loss arising from an exposure to an institution can be as severe as a loss from any other exposure, such exposures should be treated and reported in the same manner as any other exposures. An alternative quantitative limit has been introduced to alleviate the disproportionate impact of such an approach on smaller institutions. In addition, very short-term exposures related to money transmission including the execution of payment services, clearing, settlement and custody services to clients are exempt to facilitate the smooth functioning of financial markets and of the related infrastructure. Those services cover, for example, the execution of cash clearing and settlement and similar activities to facilitate settlement. The related exposures include exposures which might not be foreseeable and are therefore not under the full control of a credit institution, inter alia, balances on inter-bank accounts resulting from client payments, including credited or debited fees and interest, and other payments for client services, as well as collateral given or received.


It is important that the interests of undertakings that ‧re-package‧ loans into tradable securities and other financial instruments (originators or sponsors) and undertakings that invest in these securities or instruments (investors) are aligned. To achieve this, the originator or sponsor should retain a significant interest in the underlying assets. It is therefore important for the originators or the sponsors to retain exposure to the risk of the loans in question. More generally, securitisation transactions should not be structured in such a way as to avoid the application of the retenti