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Resolution planning and policies

The SRB and the national resolution authorities work with banks and credit institutions to ensure everything is in place should a bank resolution be needed. This involves defining policy and guidance, managing an annual resolution planning cycle and setting targets for minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL), MREL is one of the key tools in resolvability, ensuring that banks maintain a minimum amount of equity and debt to support an effective resolution.


Effective resolution

Banks provide vital services to citizens, businesses, and the economy at large.

In the past, because of the vital role played by banks, and in the absence of effective resolution regimes, authorities have often had to put up taxpayers' money to restore trust and avoid a contagion effect of failing banks on the rest of the economy.

In view of the critical intermediary role that banks play in our economies, financial difficulties in banks need to be resolved in an orderly, quick and efficient manner, avoiding undue disruption to the bank's activities and to the rest of the financial system.

While for most banks this can be achieved through the normal insolvency proceedings applicable to any company in the market, some banks are too systemically important and interconnected to allow for their liquidation through a normal insolvency process.

Rather than relying on taxpayers to bail these banks out, a mechanism is needed to put an end to potential domino effects. It should allow public authorities to distribute losses to banks' shareholders and creditors – rather than on the taxpayers.

In most bank crisis cases, normal insolvency proceedings will be applied. Resolution applies when this would be in the public interest, safeguard financial stability, and protect taxpayers. Generally, this happens when normal insolvency proceedings would inflict damage on the real economy and cause financial instability. 

When does a bank resolution occur?

 A bank resolution occurs when authorities determine that a failing bank cannot go through normal insolvency proceedings without harming public interest and causing financial instability.

To manage the bank's failure in an orderly manner, authorities use resolution tools that 

  • ensure continuity of the bank's critical functions
  • maintain financial stability
  • restore the viability of parts or all of the bank

Meanwhile, any part of the bank that cannot be made viable again goes through normal insolvency proceedings.

After the recent financial crisis, the EU adopted a number of measures to harmonise and improve the tools for dealing with bank crises in its member countries.

Failing or Likely To Fail (FOLTF)

Resolution occurs at the point where the authorities determine that a bank is failing or likely to fail, that there is no other supervisory or private sector intervention that can restore the institution to viability (for example by applying measures set out in a so-called recovery plan, which all banks are required to draft) within a short timeframe and that normal insolvency proceedings would cause financial instability while having an impact on the public interest.

If it is decided to resolve a bank facing serious difficulties, its resolution will be managed efficiently, with minimum costs to taxpayers and the real economy. In extraordinary circumstances, the Single Resolution Fund (SRF), financed by the banking sector itself, can be accessed. The SRF is being set up under the control of the SRB. The total target size of the Fund will equal at least 1% of the covered deposits of all banks in Member States participating in the Banking Union.

Public consultations

The SRB is committed to listening closely to the views of its stakeholders and being transparent about the decisions it takes. 

Current Public Consultations

There are no current public consultations at the moment

Recent Public Consultations

Public consultation on the Minimum Bail-in Data Template (MBDT)

Start: | Deadline: | Status: Closed

Take part in the public consultation on the Minimum Bail-in Data Template (MBDT) package, which provides an integrated approach for implementing the SRB Bail-in Data Set Instructions and Explanatory Note published in 2020 and updated in 2022, by enhancing its definitions and providing a template to...

Public consultation on the future review of MREL

Start: | Deadline: | Status: Closed

Take part in the public consultation on the future of the minimum requirements for own funds and eligible liabilities, or MREL, the minimum amount of equity and debt banks are required to hold to support an effective resolution without using taxpayers money or industry-funded safety nets.


SRB announces consultation on 2023 Single Resolution Fund contributions

Start: | Deadline: | Status: Closed

In line with our standard approach in previous years, the SRB has launched a consultation on the 2023 preliminary contributions to the Single Resolution Fund (SRF). The SRF is an emergency fund to support bank resolution and is being built up over eight years between 2016 and 2023. This year marks...