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BANKING: MEMBER STATES QUIZZED ON REASONS FOR BLOCKING BANKING MERGERS.

CEBS said it has been asked to evaluate how national supervisory authorities evaluate banking mergers and acquisitions. "The Commission has asked CEBS to focus in particular on the criteria used by national supervisory authorities in deciding when to oppose the acquisition of a qualifying holding on the grounds that the acquisition could threaten the 'sound and prudent management' of the target institution", the supervisors said in a statement.

CEBS is seeking views from the banking industry and other market players to identify potential obstacles to cross-border mergers, to show how important these obstacles are and to comment on banking regulation. It asks whether Article 16 of Directive 2000/12/EC on the taking up and pursuit of the business of credit institutions has hindered mergers and acquisitions in Europe and if any legal provisions could be amended, deleted or issued to remove obstacles to further tie-ups. Respondents are invited to detail their direct experience of any obstacles. The deadline for the survey is April 30. All comments should be made in English and sent to qu@c-ebs.org. They will be published on the CEBS website at http://www.c-ebs.org/Advice/advice.htm unless confidentiality is requested.

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The members of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) are high-level representatives from the EU's banking supervisory authorities and central banks. CEBS advises the Commission on banking and the implementation of banking Directives. It also watches over supervisory practices.

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EU approval deadlines for ABN Amro and BBVA.

The European Commission has fast-tracked two takeover bids which test the Bank of Italy's rules on foreign ownership of Italian banks. ABN Amro's Euro 6.3 billion bid for Banca Antonveneta and BBVA's Euro 6.7 billion offer for Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (BNL)(see issues 2949 and 2950) are both candidates for the simplified merger procedure - a sign that EU regulators see no major competition problems and could approve the bids by the beginning of May. The Commission has set a May 3 deadline for the BBVA/BNL deal and should rule on ABN Amro/Banca Antonveneta by May 4.

For a copy of the questionnaire, see our website EISnet: www.eis.be > Advanced search > Reference= EURE;2951;305

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Publication:European Report
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Apr 6, 2005
Words:366
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