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ECB’s Asmussen Says Agreement on ESM Recaps Seems Possible

European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen told reporters in Luxembourg that an agreement on direct bank recapitalization from the European Stability Mechanism “seems possible to reach,” though there are still “a few open issues.”

“From an ECB perspective we are really entering two crucial days in completing the banking union,” he said before a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg. “It would be really key to our joint European credibility if we finish two major elements on time as we all have promised a number of times.”

As to the bank recovery and resolution directive to be discussed by ministers tomorrow, Asmussen said it’s “a key element of the banking union.”

He added that some flexibility “might be necessary” when it comes to the pecking order of creditors of struggling banks, “but the flexibility shouldn’t be too much because otherwise you lose certainty and security for investors. That’s an important position from our side. And second, again, to bring certainty to markets, we would like to see the bail-in instruments are available from 2015 and not from 2018 as is for the time foreseen. So let’s hope that we see progress.”

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