The recent financial crisis has highlighted the need for an EU-wide effective crisis management for cross-border financial institutions. Over the years, the Single Market has grown in size and in importance and now features a high degree of integration, not least because of the fact that a single passport and free establishment are guaranteed under a Treaty. While banking law is extensively harmonised in Europe, so far crisis management was not.
Thus, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) was published in the Official Journal of the EU on 15 May 2014. This long awaited legislation bridges the gap between the prudential and financial stability framework.
The Directive establishes a clear mechanism and common toolkit for banks to plan for and act in stress situations with emphasis on early intervention and recovery while also putting a framework in place that would anticipate the worst case scenario of a systemically important bank failure. As a result, it will help restore confidence in banking supervision to minimise the fall-out from bank failures while providing the foundation for the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM) – the counterpart to the new Single Supervisory Mechanism for euro-zone banks and other EU countries, which wish to opt in. The BRRD applies to all banks in all 28 Member States since 2015, while bail-in, a regime to hold shareholders and bondholders accountable for the cost of resolution, has entered into force in all jurisdictions in January 2016.