Accept Refuse

EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Document 32014R0527

Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 527/2014 of 12 March 2014 supplementing Directive (EU) No 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to regulatory technical standards specifying the classes of instruments that adequately reflect the credit quality of an institution as a going concern and are appropriate to be used for the purposes of variable remuneration Text with EEA relevance

OJ L 148, 20.5.2014, p. 21–28 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, HR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)

In force

ELI: http://data.europa.eu/eli/reg_del/2014/527/oj

20.5.2014   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

L 148/21


COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) No 527/2014

of 12 March 2014

supplementing Directive (EU) No 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to regulatory technical standards specifying the classes of instruments that adequately reflect the credit quality of an institution as a going concern and are appropriate to be used for the purposes of variable remuneration

(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Directive (EU) No 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on access to the activity of credit institutions and the prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms, amending Directive 2002/87/EC and repealing Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC (1), and in particular Article 94(2) thereof,

Whereas:

(1)

Variable remuneration awarded in instruments should promote sound and effective risk management and should not encourage risk-taking that exceeds the level of tolerated risk of the institution. Therefore classes of instruments which can be used for the purposes of variable remuneration should align the interests of staff with the interests of shareholders, creditors and other stakeholders by providing incentives for staff to act in the long-term interest of the institution and not to take excessive risks.

(2)

In order to ensure that there is a strong link to the credit quality of an institution as a going concern, instruments used for the purposes of variable remuneration should contain appropriate trigger events for write down or conversion which reduce the value of the instruments in situations where the credit quality of the institution as a going concern has deteriorated. The trigger events used for remuneration purposes should not change the level of subordination of the instruments and therefore should not lead to a disqualification of Additional Tier 1 or Tier 2 instruments as own funds instruments.

(3)

While the conditions which apply to Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruments are specified in Articles 52 and 63 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council (2), the other instruments referred to in point (l)(ii) of Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU which can be fully converted to Common Equity Tier 1 instruments or written down are not subject to specific conditions pursuant to that Regulation as they are not classified as own funds instruments for prudential purposes. Specific requirements should therefore be set for different classes of instruments to ensure that they are appropriate to be used for the purposes of variable remuneration, taking account of the different nature of the instruments. The use of instruments for the purposes of variable remuneration should not in itself prevent instruments from qualifying as own funds of an institution as long as the conditions laid down in Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 are met. Nor should such use in itself be understood as providing an incentive to redeem the instrument, as after deferral and retention periods staff members are, in general, able to receive liquid funds by other means than redemption.

(4)

Other Instruments comprise non-cash debt instruments or debt-linked instruments that do not qualify as own funds. Other Instruments are not limited to financial instruments as defined in point 50 of Article 4(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, but can also include further non-cash instruments, which could be included in agreements between the institution and staff members. To ensure that these instruments reflect the credit quality of an institution as a going concern, appropriate requirements should ensure that the circumstances in which such instruments are written down or converted extend beyond recovery or resolution situations.

(5)

When instruments used for the purposes of variable remuneration are called, redeemed, repurchased or converted, in general such transactions should not increase the value of the remuneration awarded by paying out amounts that are higher than the value of the instrument or by converting into instruments which have a higher value than the instrument initially awarded. This is to ensure that remuneration is not paid through vehicles or methods that facilitate non-compliance with Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU.

(6)

When awarding variable remuneration and when instruments used for variable remuneration are redeemed, called, repurchased or converted, those transactions should be based on values that have been established in accordance with the applicable accounting standard. A valuation of the instruments should therefore be required in all these situations in order to ensure that the requirements of Directive 2013/36/EU regarding remuneration are not circumvented, in particular as regards the ratio between variable and fixed components of remuneration and the alignment with risk taking.

(7)

Article 54 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 sets out the write-down and conversion mechanisms for Additional Tier 1 instruments. Additionally, point (l)(ii) of Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU requires that Other Instruments can be fully converted into Common Equity Tier 1 instruments or written down. As the economic outcome of a conversion or write-down of Other Instruments is the same as for Additional Tier 1 instruments, write-down or conversion mechanisms for Other Instruments should take into account the mechanisms that apply to Additional Tier 1 instruments, with adaptations to take account of the fact that Other Instruments do not qualify as own fund instruments from a prudential perspective. Tier 2 instruments are not subject to regulatory requirements regarding write-down and conversion under Regulation (EU) No 575/2013. To ensure that the value of all such instruments, when used for variable remuneration, is reduced when the credit quality of the institution deteriorates, the situations in which a write-down or conversion of the instrument is necessary should be specified. The write down, write up and conversion mechanisms for Tier 2 and Other Instruments should be specified to ensure consistent application.

(8)

Distributions arising from instruments can take various forms. They can be variable or fixed and can be paid periodically or at the final maturity of an instrument. In line with guidelines on remuneration policies and practices issued by the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (3), in order to promote sound and effective risk management no distributions should be paid to staff during deferral periods. Staff members should only receive distributions in respect of periods which follow the vesting of the instrument. Therefore only instruments with distributions which are paid periodically to the owner of the instrument are appropriate for use as variable remuneration; zero coupon bonds or instruments which retain earnings should not count towards the substantial portion of remuneration which must consist of a balance of the instruments referred to in point (l) of Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU. This is because staff would benefit during the deferral period from increasing values, which can be understood as equivalent to receiving distributions.

(9)

Very high distributions can reduce the long-term incentive for prudent risk-taking as they effectively increase the variable part of the remuneration. In particular distributions should not be paid out at intervals of longer than one year, as this would lead to distributions effectively accumulating during deferral periods and being paid out once the variable remuneration vests. Accumulation of distributions would circumvent point (g) of Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU regarding the ratio between variable and fixed components of remuneration and the principle in point (m) of that Article that remuneration payable under deferral arrangements vests no faster than on a pro rata basis. Therefore distributions made after the instrument has vested should not exceed market rates. This should be ensured by requiring instruments used for variable remuneration, or the instruments to which they are linked, to be issued mainly to other investors, or by requiring such instruments to be subject to a cap on distributions.

(10)

Deferral and retention requirements which apply to awards of variable remuneration pursuant to Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU have to be met at all relevant times, including when instruments used for variable remuneration are called, redeemed, repurchased or converted. In such situations instruments should therefore be exchanged with Additional Tier 1, Tier 2 and Other Instruments which reflect the credit quality of the institution as a going concern, have features equivalent to those of the instrument initially awarded, and are of the same value, taking into account any amounts which have been written down. Where instruments other than Additional Tier 1 instruments have a fixed maturity date minimum requirements should be set for the remaining maturity of such instruments when they are awarded in order to ensure that they are consistent with requirements regarding the deferral and retention periods for variable remuneration.

(11)

Directive 2013/36/EU does not limit the classes of instruments that can be used for variable remuneration to a specific class of financial instruments. It should be possible to use synthetic instruments or contracts between staff members and institutions which are linked to Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruments which can be fully converted or written down. This allows for the introduction of specific conditions in the terms of such instruments which apply only to instruments awarded to staff, without the need to impose such conditions on other investors.

(12)

In a group context issuances may be managed centrally within a parent undertaking. Institutions within such a group may not, therefore, always issue instruments which are appropriate to be used for the purpose of variable remuneration. Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 enables Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruments issued through an entity within the scope of consolidation to form part of an institution's own funds subject to certain conditions. Therefore it should also be possible to use such instruments for the purpose of variable remuneration, provided that there is a clear link between the credit quality of the institution using these instruments for the purpose of variable remuneration and the credit quality of the issuer of the instrument. Such a link can usually be assumed to be the case between a parent undertaking and a subsidiary. Instruments other than Additional Tier 1 and Tier 2 instruments which are not issued directly by an institution should also be capable of being used for variable remuneration, subject to equivalent conditions. Instruments which are linked to reference instruments issued by parent undertakings in third countries and which are equivalent to Additional Tier 1 or Tier 2 instruments should be eligible to be used for the purposes of variable remuneration if the trigger event refers to the institution using such a synthetic instrument.

(13)

This Regulation is based on the draft regulatory technical standards submitted by the European Banking Authority (EBA) to the European Commission.

(14)

EBA has conducted open public consultations on the draft regulatory technical standards, analysed the potential related costs and benefits and requested the opinion of the Banking Stakeholder Group established in accordance with Article 37 of Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council (4),

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Classes of instruments that adequately reflect the credit quality of an institution as a going concern and are appropriate to be used for the purposes of variable remuneration

1.   The following shall be the classes of instruments that satisfy the conditions laid down in point (l)(ii) of Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU:

(a)

classes of Additional Tier 1 instruments where those classes fulfil the conditions referred to in paragraph 2 and Article 2, and comply with Article 5(9) and point (c) of Article 5(13);

(b)

classes of Tier 2 instruments where those classes fulfil the conditions referred to in paragraph 2 and Article 3, and comply with Article 5;

(c)

classes of instruments which can be fully converted to Common Equity Tier 1 instruments or written down and which are neither Additional Tier 1 instruments nor Tier 2 instruments (‘Other Instruments’) in the cases referred to in Article 4 where those classes fulfil the conditions referred to in paragraph 2 and comply with Article 5.

2.   The classes of instruments referred to in paragraph 1 shall fulfil the following conditions:

(a)

instruments shall not be secured or subject to a guarantee that enhances the seniority of the claims of the holder;

(b)

where the provisions governing an instrument allow its conversion, that instrument shall only be used for the purposes of awarding variable remuneration where the rate or range of conversion is set at a level that ensures that the value of the instrument into which the instrument initially awarded is converted is not higher than the value of the instrument initially awarded at the time it was awarded as variable remuneration;

(c)

the provisions governing convertible instruments which are used for the sole purpose of variable remuneration shall ensure that the value of the instrument into which the instrument initially awarded is converted is not higher than the value, at the time of that conversion, of the instrument initially awarded;

(d)

the provisions governing the instrument shall provide that any distributions are paid on at least an annual basis and are paid to the holder of the instrument;

(e)

instruments shall be priced at their value at the time the instrument is awarded, in accordance with the applicable accounting standard. The valuation shall take into account the credit quality of the institution and shall be subject to independent review;

(f)

the provisions governing the instruments issued for the sole purpose of variable remuneration shall require a valuation to be carried out in accordance with the applicable accounting standard in the event that the instrument is redeemed, called, repurchased or converted.

Article 2

Conditions for classes of Additional Tier 1 instruments

Classes of Additional Tier 1 instruments shall comply with the following conditions:

(a)

the provisions governing the instrument shall specify a trigger event for the purpose of point (n) of Article 52(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

(b)

the trigger event referred to in point (a) occurs when the Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of the institution issuing the instrument, referred to in point (a) of Article 92(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, falls below either of the following:

(i)

7 %;

(ii)

a level higher than 7 %, where determined by the institution and specified in the provisions governing the instrument;

(c)

one of the following requirements is met:

(i)

the instruments are issued for the sole purpose of being awarded as variable remuneration and the provisions governing the instrument ensure that any distributions are paid at a rate which is consistent with market rates for similar instruments issued by the institution or by institutions of comparable nature, scale, complexity and credit quality and which in any case is, at the time the remuneration is awarded, no higher than 8 percentage points above the annual average rate of change for the Union published by the Commission (Eurostat) in its Harmonised Indices of Consumer Prices published pursuant to Article 11 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 (5). Where the instruments are awarded to staff members who perform the predominant part of their professional activities outside the Union and the instruments are denominated in a currency issued by a third country, institutions may use a similar independently-calculated index of consumer prices produced in respect of that third country;

(ii)

at the time of the award of the instruments as variable remuneration, at least 60 % of the instruments in issuance were issued other than as an award of variable remuneration and are not held by the following or by any undertaking that has close links with the following:

the institution or its subsidiaries,

the parent undertaking of the institution or its subsidiaries,

the parent financial holding company or its subsidiaries,

the mixed activity holding company or its subsidiaries,

the mixed financial holding company and its subsidiaries.

Article 3

Conditions for classes of Tier 2 instruments

Classes of Tier 2 instruments shall comply with the following conditions:

(a)

at the time of the award of the instruments as variable remuneration, the remaining period before maturity of the instruments shall be equal to or exceed the sum of the deferral periods and retention periods that apply to variable remuneration in respect of the award of those instruments;

(b)

the provisions governing the instrument provide that, upon the occurrence of a trigger event the principal amount of the instruments shall be written down on a permanent or temporary basis or the instrument shall be converted to Common Equity Tier 1 instruments;

(c)

the trigger event referred to in point (b) occurs where the Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of the institution issuing the instrument, referred to in point (a) of Article 92(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, falls below either of the following:

(i)

7 %;

(ii)

a level higher than 7 %, where determined by the institution and specified in the provisions governing the instrument;

(d)

one of the requirements in point (c) of Article 2 is met.

Article 4

Conditions for classes of Other Instruments

1.   Under the conditions laid down in point (c) of Article 1(1), Other Instruments satisfy the conditions laid down in point (l)(ii) of Article 94(1) of Directive 2013/36/EU in each of the following cases:

(a)

the Other Instruments fulfil the conditions referred to in paragraph 2;

(b)

the Other Instruments are linked to an Additional Tier 1 instrument or Tier 2 instrument and fulfil the conditions referred to in paragraph 3;

(c)

the Other Instruments are linked to an instrument which would be an Additional Tier 1 instrument or Tier 2 instrument but for the fact that it is issued by a parent undertaking of the institution which is outside the scope of consolidation pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title II of Part One of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 and the Other Instruments fulfil the conditions in paragraph 4.

2.   The conditions referred to in point (a) of paragraph 1 are the following:

(a)

the Other Instruments shall be issued directly or through an entity included within the group consolidation pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title II of Part One of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, provided that a change to the credit quality of the issuer of the instrument can reasonably be expected to lead to a similar change to the credit quality of the institution using the Other Instruments for the purpose of variable remuneration;

(b)

the provisions governing the Other Instruments do not give the holder the right to accelerate the scheduled payment of distributions or principal other than in the case of the insolvency or liquidation of the institution;

(c)

at the time of the award of the Other Instruments as variable remuneration the remaining period before maturity of the Other Instruments is equal to or exceeds the sum of the deferral periods and retention periods that apply in respect of the award of those instruments;

(d)

the provisions governing the instrument provide that, upon the occurrence of a trigger event the principal amount of the instruments shall be written down on a permanent or temporary basis or the instrument shall be converted to Common Equity Tier 1 instruments;

(e)

the trigger event referred to in point (d) occurs when the Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio of the institution issuing the instrument referred to in point (a) of Article 92(1) of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 falls below either of the following:

(i)

7 %;

(ii)

a level higher than 7 %, where determined by the institution and specified in the provisions governing the instrument;

(f)

one of the requirements in point (c) of Article 2 is met.

3.   The conditions referred to in point (b) of paragraph 1 are the following:

(a)

the Other Instruments fulfil the conditions in points (a) to (e) of paragraph 2;

(b)

the Other Instruments are linked to an Additional Tier 1 or Tier 2 instrument issued through an entity included within the group consolidation pursuant to Chapter 2 of Title II of Part One of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 (the ‘reference instrument’);

(c)

the reference instrument fulfils the conditions of points (c) and (f) of paragraph 2 at the time that the instrument is awarded as variable remuneration;

(d)

the value of an Other Instrument is linked to the reference instrument such that it is at no time more than the value of the reference instrument;

(e)

the value of any distributions paid after the Other Instrument has vested is linked to the reference instrument such that distributions paid are at no time more than the value of any distributions paid under the reference instrument;

(f)

the provisions governing the Other Instruments provide that if the reference instrument is called, converted, repurchased or redeemed within the deferral or retention period the Other Instruments shall be linked to an equivalent reference instrument which fulfils the conditions in this Article such that the total value of the Other Instruments does not increase.

4.   The conditions referred to in point (c) of paragraph 1 are the following:

(a)

the competent authorities have determined for the purpose of Article 127 of Directive 2013/36/EU that the institution that issues the instrument to which the other instruments are linked is subject to consolidated supervision by a third-country supervisory authority which is equivalent to that governed by the principles set out in that Directive and the requirements of Chapter 2 of Title II of Part One of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013;

(b)

the Other Instruments fulfil the conditions referred to in points (a) and points (c) to (f) of paragraph 3.

Article 5

Write down, write up and conversion procedures

1.   For the purpose of point (b) of Article 3 and point (d) of Article 4(2) the provisions governing Tier 2 instruments and Other Instruments shall comply with the procedures and timing laid down in paragraphs 2 to 14 for calculating the Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio and the amounts to be written down, written up or converted. The provisions governing Additional Tier 1 instruments shall comply with the procedures laid down in paragraph 9 and point (c) of paragraph 13 in respect of amounts to be written down, written up or converted.

2.   Where the provisions governing Tier 2 and Other Instruments require the instruments to be converted into Common Equity Tier 1 instruments upon the occurrence of a trigger event, those provisions shall specify either of the following:

(a)

the rate of that conversion and a limit on the permitted amount of conversion;

(b)

a range within which the instruments will convert into Common Equity Tier 1 instruments.

3.   Where the provisions governing the instruments provide that their principal amount shall be written down upon the occurrence of a trigger event, the write-down shall permanently or temporarily reduce all the following:

(a)

the claim of the holder of the instrument in the insolvency or liquidation of the institution;

(b)

the amount to be paid in the event of the call or redemption of the instrument;

(c)

the distributions made on the instrument.

4.   Any distributions payable after a write-down shall be based on the reduced amount of the principal.

5.   Write-down or conversion of the instruments shall, under the applicable accounting framework, generate items that qualify as Common Equity Tier 1 items.

6.   Where the institution has established that the Common Equity Tier 1 ratio has fallen below the level that activates conversion or write-down of the instrument the management body or any other relevant body of the institution shall be required to determine without delay that a trigger event has occurred and there shall be an irrevocable obligation to write-down or convert the instrument.

7.   The aggregate amount of instruments that is required to be written down or converted upon the occurrence of a trigger event shall be no less than the lower of the following:

(a)

the amount required to fully restore the Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of the institution to the percentage set as the trigger event in the provisions governing the instrument;

(b)

the full principal amount of the instrument.

8.   Where a trigger event occurs, institutions shall be required to do the following:

(a)

inform the staff members who have been awarded the instruments as variable remuneration and the persons who continue to hold such instruments;

(b)

write down the principal amount of the instruments, or convert the instruments into Common Equity Tier 1 instruments as soon as possible and within a maximum period of one month in accordance with the requirements laid down in this Article.

9.   Where Additional Tier 1 instruments, Tier 2 instruments and Other Instruments include an identical trigger level, the principal amount shall be written down or converted on a pro rata basis to all holders of such instruments which are used for the purposes of variable remuneration.

10.   The amount of the instrument to be written down or converted shall be subject to independent review. That review shall be completed as soon as possible and shall not create impediments for the institution to write-down or convert the instrument.

11.   An institution issuing instruments that convert to Common Equity Tier 1 on the occurrence of a trigger event shall be required to ensure that its authorised share capital is at all times sufficient to convert all such convertible instruments into shares if a trigger event occurs. The institution shall be required to maintain at all times the necessary prior authorisation to issue the Common Equity Tier 1 instruments into which such instruments would convert upon the occurrence of a trigger event.

12.   An institution issuing instruments that convert to Common Equity Tier 1 on the occurrence of a trigger event shall be required to ensure that there are no procedural impediments to that conversion by virtue of its incorporation or statutes or contractual arrangements.

13.   In order for the write-down of an instrument to be considered temporary, all of the following conditions shall be met:

(a)

write-ups shall be based on profits after the issuer of the instrument has taken a formal decision confirming the final profits;

(b)

any write-up of the instrument or payment of coupons on the reduced amount of the principal shall be operated at the full discretion of the institution subject to the constraints arising from points (c), (d) and (e) and the institution shall not be obliged to operate or accelerate a write-up under specific circumstances;

(c)

a write-up shall be operated on a pro rata basis among Additional Tier 1 instruments, Tier 2 instruments and Other Instruments used for the purpose of variable remuneration that have been subject to a write-down;

(d)

the maximum amount to be attributed to the sum of the write-up of Tier 2 and Other Instruments together with the payment of coupons on the reduced amount of the principal shall be equal to the profit of the institution multiplied by the amount obtained by dividing the amount determined in point (i) by the amount determined in point (ii):

(i)

the sum of the nominal amount of all Tier 2 instruments and other instruments of the institution before write-down that have been subject to a write-down;

(ii)

the sum of own funds and of the nominal amount of Other Instruments used for the purpose of variable remuneration of the institution;

(e)

the sum of any write-up amounts and payments of coupons on the reduced amount of the principal shall be treated as a payment that results in a reduction of Common Equity Tier 1 and shall be subject, together with other distributions on Common Equity Tier 1 instruments, to the restrictions relating to the Maximum Distributable Amount as laid down in Article 141(2) of Directive 2013/36/EU.

14.   For the purposes of point (d) of paragraph 13, the calculation shall be made at the moment when the write-up is operated.

Article 6

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels, 12 March 2014.

For the Commission

The President

José Manuel BARROSO


(1)  OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p. 338.

(2)  Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 (OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p. 1).

(3)  Committee of European Banking Supervisors: Guidelines on Remuneration Policies and Practices of 10 December 2010.

(4)  Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010 establishing a European Supervisory Authority (European Banking Authority), amending Decision No 716/2009/EC and repealing Commission Decision 2009/78/EC (OJ L 331, 15.12.2010, p. 12).

(5)  Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 of 23 October 1995 concerning harmonized indices of consumer prices (OJ L 257, 27.10.1995, p. 1).


Top