Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna discusses his participation in Eurogroup and ECOFIN meetings in Brussels earlier last week. Prof. Scicluna explains that one issue which was discussed was the current status of the Banking Union.
He notes how two leading Maltese banks, HSBC and BOV, along with other more prominent European banks such as Deutsche Bank, were selected by the European Commission for detailed line-by-line scrutiny regarding their strengths, assets, and investments. Following this scrutiny, the banks will be subjected to stress tests that will study their performance and stability during a crisis.
Prof. Scicluna also explains how currently, preparations for the Banking Union are at a stage whereby the Euro Zone Governments are drafting an intergovernmental agreement with regards to the process of how ailing banks are handled, also known as bank resolution. Following the signing, this agreement will need to be ratified in the Maltese parliament.
Prof. Scicluna also explains that, very often, there is a measure of animosity between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. He mentions that in this case, the European Parliament is not being consulted for its opinion or its approval, which was customary with past issues.
Prof. Scicluna expresses satisfaction that due to an intervention by a number of Socialist Finance Ministers, the Council will now be consulting the European Parliament on the issue of the intergovernmental agreement.
– Monday, 3rd February 2014