EUR-Lex Access to European Union law

Back to EUR-Lex homepage

This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website

Establishing bank resolution funds

Establishing bank resolution funds



Communication (COM(2010) 254 final) — Bank Resolution Funds


It describes the intentions of the European Commission concerning the establishment of bank resolution funds.


What is the role of bank resolution funds?

  • Resolution funds should contribute to financing the orderly resolution of distressed banks. In order to do this, they could implement measures such as:
    • financing bridge banks (i.e. institutions set up by a national regulator or central bank to operate a failed bank until a buyer can be found for its operations);
    • financing a total or partial transfer of assets and/or liabilities from the ailing entity;
    • financing a good bank/bad bank split.
  • Resolution funds may also be used to cover administrative costs, legal and advisory fees.
  • However, they must not play the role of insurance against failure or be used to bail-out failing banks.

How can bank resolution funds be financed?

The Commission considers that financing arrangements for a fund should procure the necessary resources whilst incentivising appropriate behaviour.

3 points could form the basis for calculating contributions to bank resolution funds:

  • banks’ assets could represent an indicator of the amount which might need to be spent in handling the bank’s resolution. Their assets are already subject to risk-weighted prudential capital requirements in the form of capital charges. A levy could be established based on the assets. However, this could therefore amount to an additional capital requirement and would have to be considered carefully in the context of the wider reforms to capital standards under way;
  • banks’ liabilities could also represent indicators of the amount which might need to be spent in handling the bank’s resolution. Costs of bank resolution are most likely to arise from the need to support certain liabilities (excluding equity and insured liabilities - e.g. deposits). However, liabilities could be less effective proxies for the degree of risk;
  • profits and bonuses could be used as a reference in order to determine the amount of levies
  • Financing arrangements should meet the following criteria:
    • avoid any possible arbitrage;
    • reflect the appropriate risks;
    • take into account the systemic nature of certain financial entities;
    • be based on the possible amounts that could be spent if resolution becomes necessary;
    • avoid competition distortions.

What means of governance should be used for bank resolution funds?

  • Bank resolution funds should remain separate from the national budget and be dedicated only to resolution costs.
  • The management of these funds should be entrusted to the authorities responsible for the resolution of financial entities acting as independent executive bodies.
  • The use of resolution funds should also respect the EU state aid rules.
  • The Commission intended to adopt legislative proposals for crisis management and resolution funds by early 2011.

How can bank resolution funds be integrated into a new financial stability framework?

  • The Commission proposed strengthening capital requirements and to reform financial supervision within the EU. It sought to strengthen deposit guarantee schemes and the corporate governance of financial institutions.
  • The Commission also sought to implement preventive measures in order to mitigate the risks of bank failures and to reduce the implicit guarantees associated with institutions deemed ‘too big to fail’.
  • The Commission also planned to adopt in October 2010 a roadmap on a European framework for crisis management. The aim of the proposed plan is to make common tools, which enable prompt and effective action to be taken in the event of banking failures, available to EU countries. These measures should not lead to costs for taxpayers.
  • Tools are proposed to complement the action of resolution funds:
    • recovery and resolution plans;
    • debt to equity conversions.

Defining a common approach to bank resolution funds

  • A European and global approach should be defined as regards the creation of bank resolution funds.
  • Under this new measure, national authorities will continue to be responsible for day-to-day supervision, and this should be underpinned by a solid intra-EU rules which is ready to address possible crises.
  • The first step in this common approach was to establish a system based on a harmonised network of national funds linked to a set of coordinated crisis management arrangements. This system was to be re-examined by 2014 with a view to creating EU integrated crisis management and supervisory arrangements, as well as an EU resolution fund in the longer term.

Developments since 2010

Following the publication of this communication, the European Commission issued a series of legislative proposals to address bank resolution. In 2014, the EU adopted:

  • Directive 2014/49/EU on deposit guarantee schemes to protect depositors of credit institutions.
  • Directive 2014/59/EU which lays down rules for the recovery and restructuring of credit institutions and investment firms.
  • Regulation (EU) No 806/2014 on the EU’s Single Resolution Mechanism and Single Resolution Fund. This sets out the rules and procedures for the resolution of failing banks and investment firms.


To mitigate the bank failures caused by the October 2008 financial crisis, EU countries’ governments provided state aid to assist the financial sector. This aid has considerably affected taxpayers and has increased EU countries’ public debt. The creation of resolution funds should prevent future recourse to state aid to resolve financial institutions’ failures.


Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Central Bank — Bank Resolution Funds (COM(2010) 254 final, 26.5.2010)


Directive 2014/49/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on deposit guarantee schemes (recast) (OJ L 173, 12.6.2014, pp. 149-178)

Successive amendments to Directive 2014/49/EU have been incorporated in to the original document. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Directive 2014/59/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 establishing a framework for the recovery and resolution of credit institutions and investment firms and amending Council Directive 82/891/EEC, and Directives 2001/24/EC, 2002/47/EC, 2004/25/EC, 2005/56/EC, 2007/36/EC, 2011/35/EU, 2012/30/EU and 2013/36/EU, and Regulations (EU) No 1093/2010 and (EU) No 648/2012, of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 173, 12.6.2014, pp. 190-348)

Regulation (EU) No 806/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2014 establishing uniform rules and a uniform procedure for the resolution of credit institutions and certain investment firms in the framework of a Single Resolution Mechanism and a Single Resolution Fund and amending Regulation (EU) No 1093/2010 (OJ L 225, 30.7.2014, pp. 1-90)

last update 20.02.2017