Banking Activity Discontinuities should be Avoided

“We do not believe this is the right time for introducing discontinuities in banking activity during this delicate period and we have to tread carefully”. This was stated by the Minister for Finance, Professor Edward Scicluna in response to the Commission’s proposal and the Liikanen report regarding the possible reforms to the structure of the EU’s banking sector.


“Although there is general agreement to ring-fence retail depositors from the riskier banking activities, bank subsidiaries such as those in Malta and other small host EU Member States should not bear the regulatory impact on the home State.”


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Professor Scicluna was attending a two-day meeting held on the 1st and 2nd April 2014 in Athens covering the Eurogroup and an informal ECOFIN. The discussions focused on key economic and financial issues.


Following the recent agreement with the troika, on 1st April, Finance Ministers of the Euro zone approved 8.3 billion Euros to Greece from the European Support Mechanism (ESM). The instalments will be split into three parts: a 6.3 billion instalment in April; and two of 1 billion euro instalments due in June and July respectively.


A joint ECOFIN/FEMIP (Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership) Ministerial Meeting also took place on the same day. Discussions focused on the challenges for sustainable growth and the new strategy of the European Investment Bank (EIB) for the Mediterranean up to 2020. Supporting growth and job creation especially for young people is a key issue on the FEMIP agenda.


The discussion also focused on how the EIB can further strengthen and diversify its instruments in support of the private sector and whether more can be done for climate action in the region. Southern Mediterranean Finance Ministers had the opportunity to share the social problems they are encountering and held an exchange of opinions on how to improve the situation and growth prospects.


The informal ECOFIN, convened following the Eurogroup session, discussed Europe’s social problems and their implications for economic growth. Finance Ministers also held an exchange of views on the economic situation and outlook and growth prospects, the long term financing of the economy in particular attention for SMEs, and the preparation for the conference of the IMF and the G20.


Minister for Finance was accompanied by his Permanent Secretary Mr. Alfred Camilleri and the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Malta, Mr. Alfred Demarco.


– Wednesday, 2th April, 2014


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