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European Commission threatens legal action against member states over banking rules

The European Commission (EC) [official website] threatened [press release] on Thursday to send 10 member states to the European Court of Justice [official website] if they do not fully implement the Third Capital Requirements Directive 2010/76/EU [text, PDF]. The deadline for implementation was January 1, but Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain have yet to implement any measures of the directive, and Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Sweden have only partially implemented the directives.

The Directive in question amends the Capital Requirements Directives (2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC). The aim of these Directives is to ensure the financial soundness of banks and investment firms. Together they stipulate how much of their own financial resources banks and investment firms must have in order to cover their risks and protect their depositors.
Later that day, Sweden promised [Bloomberg report] to implement the EC's recommendations. Spain also stated that they had complied [Bloomberg report] with almost all of the new directives. Greece, Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia are all drafting legislation on the topic. Italy, Portugal, Belgium and Luxembourg did not comment. Greece, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain have two months to explain how they will implement the new regulations.

Principal changes include remuneration policies and practices within banks, capital requirements for resecuritisations, disclosure of securitisation exposures and capital requirements for the trading book. Specifically, the law restricts payments of "bank bonuses" and forces banks to disclose employees earning more than one million euro. The law, which has only been partially implemented in Belgium, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Sweden, concerns a requirement that banks have a certain amount of capital on hand at all times. The EC is responsible for ensuring European Union (EU) [official website] law is applied throughout all member states.

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