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EU Banking Union Reference Guide to Key Dates, Milestones

The following are upcoming events in the European Union’s push to create a banking union, which enters a new phase on Nov. 4 when the European Central Bank begins to supervise euro-area lenders. Below is a timeline of developments, starting with the June 2012 summit when EU leaders committed to financial integration to fight the debt and financial crises.



* In the second half of October, the ECB will release the results of its Comprehensive Assessment of 128 euro-area banks, including an asset-quality review and a stress test run in conjunction with the European Banking Authority.

* Nov. 4: The ECB takes over euro-area bank supervision.

* In September and October, the EU will consider how to calculate the size of bank levies for resolution funds created under new legislation that requires all nations to raise money from the financial sector to pay for handling bank failures.


* Jan. 1: The Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive comes into force, except for bail-in rules on creditor writedowns that take effect one year later. The BRRD sets out procedures for saving or shuttering failing lenders, and Dec. 31, 2014, is the deadline for nations to adapt their own laws to the new rules.

* Jan. 1: The Single Resolution Mechanism for nations that participate in the banking union begins. Banks start paying levies into national funds that will be set aside to cover future resolution costs.

* July 3: Deadline for the EBA to provide technical guidance on BRRD provisions, including rules on how parts of a bank can come to the aid of a failing unit. The EBA also will give guidance on trigger events for interventions by regulators, minimum levels of capital that can be bailed in, and organizing the sale of a crisis-hit bank.


* Jan. 1: BRRD rules on creditor writedowns take effect.

* Jan. 1: Single Resolution Fund takes legal effect.

* Jan. 3: EBA to provide guidance on conversion rates for turning debt into equity under BRRD, and on how banks should draw up business reorganization plans.

* Jan. 31: Deadline for transfer to Single Resolution Fund of contributions previously held in national funds.

* June 30: Deadline for first direct payment of bank contributions to Single Resolution Fund. Can be pushed back if intergovernmental accord on the fund isn’t yet fully ratified.

* Oct. 31: Deadline for EBA to submit guidance on an appropriate target level for national resolution funds.

* Dec. 31: Deadline for European Commission to report on whether the EU should have a common rule on the minimum amount of bail-inable liabilities banks must have.


* Jan. 1: Deadline for Single Resolution Fund to have resources equivalent to 1 percent of covered deposits. It is possible to extend this for up to four extra years if fund has made significant disbursements.

* Dec. 31: Deadline for all national resolution funds outside of the banking union to have pre-financing equivalent to 1 percent of covered deposits.



* June 29: Euro-area leaders “affirm that it is imperative to break the vicious link between banks and sovereigns” and call for a single supervisory mechanism involving the ECB. Statement calls for special consideration for Ireland’s bank bailout.

* June 29: Euro leaders introduce possibility of direct recapitalization of banks by the then-forthcoming European Stability Mechanism, with eye toward easing impact of Spanish financial-sector bailout via retroactive assistance.

* July 12: EU financial-services chief Michel Barnier calls for pan-European banking supervision “with real teeth,” accompanied by a joint bank-resolution system and pooled deposit guarantees.

* July 18: IMF calls on euro-area authorities and ECB to stand behind deposit insurance in the currency zone in order to forestall bank runs.

* July 20: Eurogroup signs off on rescue program of up to 100 billion euros ($132 billion) for Spanish banks, to be channeled through Spain’s government.

* July 24: Spanish, Italian bond yields reach euro-era record highs.

* July 26: ECB President Mario Draghi pledges policy makers will do “whatever it takes” to save the euro.

* Sept. 6: ECB announces Outright Monetary Transactions program of potentially unlimited sovereign bond-buying to address market distortions, if conditions met.

* Sept. 12: European Commission releases proposals to make ECB supervisor of all EU area banks, with power to grant and retract banking licenses, in presentation to European Parliament in Strasbourg.

* Sept. 14-15: EU finance ministers meeting in Cyprus clash over scope, timetable for ECB bank supervision. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says the EU risks a backlash if joint supervision misses its deadlines. Barnier says he won’t pursue cross-border deposit insurance plans in order to focus on common oversight, saying there shouldn’t be an “open-ended kitty” to backstop savers.

* Sept. 25: “Legacy assets” become politically explosive after joint statement from Germany, the Netherlands and Finland that says direct ESM aid should be a last resort for banks, with “legacy assets under the responsibility of national authorities.”

* Oct. 8: The permanent 500 billion-euro European Stability Mechanism becomes operational, replacing the temporary European Financial Stability Facility as the euro area’s firewall fund.

* Oct. 9: Germany’s Schaeuble says debate over legacy assets is a “phantom” and a transfer of legacy bailouts is not compatible with firewall fund agreements.

* Oct. 18: EU leaders declare Single Supervisory Mechanism is “a matter of priority” with goal for deal by Jan. 1, 2013. Leaders also call for “rapid adoption” of EU-wide laws to standardize resolution and deposit-guarantee frameworks in each nation.

* Oct. 21: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Ireland is a “special case” that might qualify for retroactive banking aid from ESM, in joint statement with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

* Nov. 6: German-led alliance continues resistance to ECB supervision of all euro-area banks, with proposed limits on jurisdiction and management.

* Nov. 13: ECB pushes back against calls to limit number of banks subject to joint oversight, echoing Oct. 25 position from European Commission.

* Nov. 29: European Parliament agrees on its negotiating position for law to turn ECB into bank supervisor.

* Dec. 4: Schaeuble warns Germany might veto banking supervisor legislation.

* Dec. 5: EU President Herman Van Rompuy report “Towards a Genuine Economic and Monetary Union” calls for Single Supervisory Mechanism as well as common national standards on bank resolution and deposit insurance, in “stage one” to be completed by end of 2013.

* Dec. 13: EU finance ministers reach common position on Single Supervisory Mechanism, paving way for talks with European Parliament.

* Dec. 14: EU leaders say “it is imperative to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns” and say “an operational framework, including a definition of legacy assets, should be agreed as soon as possible,” at summit in Brussels.


* Jan. 24: Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, in his debut appearance as Eurogroup chief, says Spain won’t seek direct ESM aid for its banks after all.

* Jan. 29-30: Germany, the Netherlands and Finland call for rules on forced creditor losses at failing banks to be implemented in 2015, three years earlier than proposed by EU draft law, in technical meetings in Brussels.

* Feb. 8: Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan says question of using ESM for retroactive bank aid may be on hold until 2014, in comments shortly after Ireland strikes deal with ECB on promissory notes used to rescue Anglo Irish debt.

* March 11: ECB says about 140 large, systemic banks will be under its direct, day-to-day oversight.

* March 13: Germany urges EU to abandon plans for a powerful central authority to handle bank failures, in behind-the-scenes paper that does not reach the public until April 30.

* March 15: EU leaders reaffirm “that it is imperative to break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns” in statement after two-day summit in Brussels.

* March 16: Euro area announces Cyprus bailout plan that would tax insured as well as uninsured depositors, sparking outrage in Cyprus and roiling financial markets.

* March 25: Euro area announces revamped Cyprus bailout plan that restructures the nation’s two largest banks and spares insured depositors.

* March 19: EU governments and European Parliament reach provisional deal on legislation to make the ECB euro-area bank supervisor.

* April 12: EU finance ministers agree to “work constructively” to consider treaty changes, in bid to prevent Germany from blocking transition to ECB as single supervisor. It becomes clear ECB supervision won’t start until at least the second half of 2014.

* April 18: EU approves law to turn ECB into euro-area bank supervisor.

* April 24: ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio says EU needs “strong” central authority to handle bank failures, saying coordination alone won’t be sufficient.

* May 2: Draghi says ECB’s Governing Council “emphasizes that the future Single Supervisory Mechanism and a Single Resolution Mechanism are crucial elements for moving toward re-integrating the banking system and therefore require swift implementation.”

* May 7: EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn says direct ESM bank aid is key to breaking the bank-sovereign link.

* May 12: Germany’s Schaeuble calls for a “two-step” approach to banking union, saying resolution should remain decentralized. Without treaty change, the EU can build “a timber-framed, not steel-framed, banking union.”

* May 16: European Banking Authority delays bank stress tests until 2014, in order to make room for the ECB’s asset-quality reviews of banks joining the euro-area supervision regime. In 2011, EBA stress tests were criticized for failing to catch problems.

* May 20: European Parliament agrees on its negotiating position for bank-resolution standards law, paving way for negotiations with nations.

* May 24: ECB’s Constancio lays out two-pronged approach for assessing banks as central bank becomes supervisor, starting with balance-sheet assessment and moving to forward-looking assessments and stress tests.

* May 30: Merkel and French President Francois Hollande endorse the banking-union effort, provided the new supervisor is “implemented effectively” and guidelines for developing a joint resolution system are put in place. This deal paves the way for a German-French agreement to delay availability of direct ESM aid for banks until at least 2014.

* June 6: Draghi says governments need, at a minimum, to make “an explicit commitment” to a backstop for capital shortfalls uncovered in the ECB’s asset-quality reviews.

* June 20: Euro area agrees on outline of rules for when the ESM can recapitalize banks directly, with stipulation that no aid is possible until after an EU bank-resolution standards law becomes final.

* June 21: Ireland says it will continue to investigate retroactive ESM bank aid after euro-area ministers agree to consider it on a “case-by-case” basis.

* June 22: EU finance ministers fail to reach deal on bank-resolution standards law after 19 hours of talks in Luxembourg.

* June 27: EU finance ministers reach deal on bank resolution and recovery directive after seven hours of emergency talks in Brussels, clearing the way for talks to begin with European Parliament on final version, with goal of year-end deal.

* July 10: The European Commission’s competition enforcement unit releases new guidelines on state aid that require some private creditors to take losses before governments can step in. The new rules take effect Aug. 1.

* July 10: European Commission releases proposal for a euro-area Single Resolution Mechanism, including 55 billion-euro common fund. The plan, which will be debated by nations and the European Parliament, would give the Brussels-based commission final say in when to close a bank.

* July 15: Germany’s Schaeuble says joint resolution plan isn’t realistic.

* Aug 29: ECB Executive Board member Yves Mersch says the ECB won’t start its asset-quality reviews unless the EU has a backstop in place, and that the central bank will begin with a risk assessment ahead of full balance sheet reviews.

* Aug 29: EU’s Barnier says there is no alternative to a single system for handling failing banks. “There is no plan B.”

* Sept. 2: The Financial Stability Board says global regulators will draw up international rules on creditor losses.

* Sept. 3: Hypo Alpe Adria receives EU approval for up to 8 billion euros in state aid. Rules on junior creditor bail-in don’t apply because case was pending since 2008.

* Sept. 5: Eurogroup chief Dijsselbloem says ECB bank supervision to start in October 2014. He says access to ESM direct recapitalization will be “very difficult” during transition period as ECB conducts bank balance-sheet reviews.

* Sept. 5: Draghi says ECB will offer first full communication on bank balance-sheet assessments by mid-October.

* Sept. 10: ECB, European Parliament reach deal on access to minutes of oversight board, clearing hurdle to final passage of single supervisor law.

* Sept. 12: EU parliament approves move to Single Supervisory Mechanism, paving way for ECB to take over euro-area bank oversight.

* Sept. 14: EU finance ministers fight over central resolution mechanism in Vilnius talks.

* Sept. 14: Sweden says it won’t join banking union for “foreseeable future.”

* Sept. 20: ING Groep CEO Jan Hommen says stress tests without safety nets create risk.

* Sept. 23: Draghi calls for EU resolution mechanism that can tap financial markets.

* Sept. 26: Germany and other nations reject plan that would give bank-aid tool to EU’s balance of payments fund, which European Commission had proposed in bid to give non-euro countries equivalent resources to euro members.

* Sept. 30: Senior German lawmaker says nations should go it alone when their banks run into trouble.

* Oct. 2: European Parliament’s Gunnar Hoekmark says governments should be able to nationalize banks if needed.

* Oct. 7: EU lawyers say Single Resolution Mechanism plan must rein in powers to pass muster under treaties.

* Oct. 14: EU reaches deal with U.K. to lift last-minute objections to single-supervisor law.

* Oct. 15: EU finance ministers renew pledge to reach year-end resolution deal and grapple with backstop questions. Nations adopt rule on single supervisor.

* Oct. 16: EU makes clear state-aid rules requiring creditor losses will apply to banks that get money from Single Resolution Mechanism.

* Oct. 16: Noonan says Ireland leaving door open on seeking retroactive ESM assistance for bank debt.

* Oct. 17: Barnier predicts the ECB’s asset-quality review will not lead to “dramatic results.”

* Oct. 22: Draft list emerges of banks to be directly supervised by ECB.

* Oct. 23: EU parliament passes non-binding resolution seeking role in ESM decisions, as part of push to gain more oversight powers.

* Oct. 23: Draghi says “banks do need to fail” to show ECB reviews are working, and ECB pledges its tests will be more credible than previous EU stress tests.

* Oct. 25: EU leaders pledge to reach deal by year-end on how to handle failing banks.

* Oct. 29: One-year countdown to ECB oversight powers begins as EU publishes law on euro-area bank supervision.

* Nov. 15: EU lawyers say EBA can’t bind European Commission, throwing wrench in U.K., Sweden objections on Single Resolution Mechanism.

* Nov. 20: ECB nominates Daniele Nouy to lead euro-area bank supervision after year-long spat over gender diversity at the central bank.

* Nov. 22: Nouy tells EU parliament that Single Supervisory Mechanism will start new age of supervision.

* Dec. 5: In bid to break logjam, Dijsselbloem splits SRM plan into EU agency and intergovernmental agreement on fund.

* Dec. 9: EU considers last-resort power to nationalize banks in bid to pass BRRD.

* Dec. 10: U.K., Germany continue to oppose expanding EU backstop for non-euro nations to include bank aid tool.

* Dec. 11: EU parliament appoints Nouy as chief supervisor of euro-area banks.

* Dec. 12: EU lawmakers reach deal on BRRD rules for handling failing banks.

* Dec. 15: Ireland becomes first euro-area nation to leave aid program.

* Dec. 18: EU lawmakers reach agreement on rules for national deposit guarantees.

* Dec. 19: EU ministers reach deal on Single Resolution Mechanism with accompanying 55 billion-euro fund. Deal paves way for 2014 approval of SRM.


* Jan. 17: Denmark renews call for bridge financing to make sure nations not caught short in banking union, particularly if Denmark decides to join.

* Jan. 23: Spain exits aid program.

* Jan. 25: Dijsselbloem pledges EU to continue work on direct bank-aid tool for ESM.

* Jan. 29: Barnier releases plan for how to regulate EU’s biggest banks.

* Jan. 30: ECB hosts Day One for supervisors.

* Jan. 31: EBA announces stress-test parameters.

* Jan. 31: EU, U.S. pledge to work together when big banks fail.

* Feb. 3: ECB’s Constancio says bank reviews will be harder than previous EU tests because of combination balance sheet review and stress test; affirms 5.5 percent crisis buffer.

* Feb. 7: Germany’s constitutional court questions legal basis for ECB’s OMT plan, seeks review by European Court of Justice.

* Feb. 11: ECB Governing Council member Erkki Liikanen says “banking union is not a hospital” and sick banks won’t be allowed to join.

* Feb. 20: ECB Vice President Constancio says ECB’s asset-quality review won’t fix economic weakness.

* Feb. 20: Romanian central banker meets Draghi to discuss joining euro-area banking union.

* March 3: Draghi says single-supervisory mechanism won’t be credible without EU bank resolution agency in place.

* March 5: European Parliament gears up for renewed push to pass Single Resolution Mechanism law.

* March 6: Draghi tells reporters banking union can’t work without SRM.

* March 11: EU ministers fail to reach agreement on SRM deal. Schaeuble says Germany is “reaching its limits.”

* March 12: ECB’s Mersch says not having SRM would be “very close to suicide.”

* March 19: Dijsselbloem joins SRM talks.

* March 20: EU reaches deal on SRM with 8-year transition to common fund, to be filled over time by bank levies and kept in national compartments during transition period.

* March 26: ECB confronts disclosure issues surrounding AQR results.

* March 31: Nouy says weak banks will need capital before results of ECB reviews.

* Apr. 15: Finnish regulators say ECB isn’t pushing supervisors to find problems where none exists.

* Apr. 29: EBA releases conditions for bank stress tests.

* May 6: Dijsselbloem offers new plan on direct recap in bid to jumpstart talks.

* May 15: ECB, European Parliament spar over whether countries should have ability to help banks under extreme circumstances when AQR results come out, building on 2013 exchange between ECB and European Commission on impact of new state-aid rules.

* May 17: Portugal exits bailout program without seeking follow-on aid.

* May 21: EU nations sign intergovernmental agreement on Single Resolution Fund.

* May 22: EU publishes 800-page draft rulebook under MiFID law on market structure.

* May 23: Banque de France’s Christian Noyer explains why Dexia will be exempt from some parts of asset review exercise.

* June 10: EU ministers approve direct bank-aid tool for ESM, to be in place by November.

* June 11: Austria breaks new ground in EU bank bail-ins by overriding state guarantees on Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International AG’s subordinated bonds. About 890 million euros of those bonds are being wiped out by law.

* June 12: EU’s Single Resolution Board faces 25 million euros in start-up costs.

* June 19: Dijsselbloem says retroactive help for Irish banks still possible.

* June 20: ECB, Germany’s Schaeuble spar over how to design fees for banks paying into new resolution fund.

* June 27: ECB releases list of 120 banks it will directly supervise, down from 128 banks in draft list.

* July 9: ECB’s Nouy says banks will get partial results of AQR before publication.

* July 10: EU agrees on terms of reference for how to recapitalize banks that fail stress tests.

* July 15: Bulgaria seeks to join euro-area banking union in face of new financial crisis, joining Romania in requesting to join ECB oversight.

* July 14: EU governments fully sign off on Single Resolution Mechanism.

* July 17: ECB says some banks may fail reviews, explains how it will disclose results.

* July 31: European Commission seeks input from national governments on bridge financing for resolution fund.

* Aug. 3: Portugal announces 4.9 billion-euro rescue of Banco Espirito Santo. Junior bondholders and shareholders will take losses.

* Aug. 8: ECB says banks mustn’t try to bend stress-test rules.

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