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Opening Speech at the SRB Annual Conference 2021 by Elke König


[Check against delivery]


Good morning ladies and gentlemen, fellow speakers; and good morning to our audience joining us online, from around the world.

First, may I thank each of our speakers for taking part in this event – the quality and calibre of speakers this year is outstanding. I also want to thank all of you for connecting this morning, and I hope you are looking forward to the discussions as much as I am.

[Optimistic outlook]

This is the second year that we are holding our major annual event in a hybrid format, with no audience physically in the room. But this year, I am speaking to you in a much more positive context, both in terms of the public health situation and the economic outlook.

We can look to the future with cautious optimism, buoyed by progress in vaccinations and recent economic and earnings forecasts.

As we come together today, with the theme of ‘Delivering for financial stability’, I would like to mention three other reasons to be cheerful.

First, the banks under the SRB’s remit have delivered good progress towards resolvability and, particularly, in building up loss-absorbing capacity. Overall, we can say that banks and regulators have worked well together to overcome the crisis in the past year.

Second, I’m glad to say that the SRB has delivered over the past year. We have delivered on resolution planning for banks, setting clear expectations and monitoring progress on resolvability.

And third, we have seen that our financial stability framework has delivered during this terrible crisis.

[Work still to do]

However, even if I open on a cheerful note, I would not like to give the impression that our work here is done. Far from it.

There is much to do over the coming years, particularly as we get ever closer to the milestone of full resolvability for all banks by 2023.

Our expectations are clear. We have set the benchmarks. It is now time for banks to complete their ‘to do’ lists and demonstrate that they are fully resolvable.

Here at the SRB, we also have a mission for the next year, to provide clear guidance and set priorities, both for individual banks and the sector as a whole. In 2022, our focus will be, in particular, on liquidity and funding in resolution, separability and reorganisation plans as well as information systems and data capabilities. Our resolvability heat-map will help gauge and assess performance in these, and other, areas.

[Bigger picture – Banking Union]

We are ready to deliver, and we are proud of the work done together with the banks, the national resolution authorities and our other partners.

But when we zoom out to look at the overall Banking Union picture, we see there is much still to deliver on that front.

Our framework contributed to helping the EU cope with a huge health crisis, and to avoiding it becoming a broader financial crisis. But we are not bringing the full benefits of the Banking Union to European citizens or to the banking sector while it is not yet complete.

I very much welcome the Commission and the Eurogroup’s shared focus on carrying out the reforms needed for more efficient, fair and effective solutions for bank failures, which will also contribute to cross-border financial integration and stronger banks. Let us continue to deliver for financial stability.


Ladies and gentlemen, let me once again thank our fantastic speakers for giving their time and insight today. And I hope all of you watching enjoy the conference.

It is now my very great pleasure and honour to introduce our first speaker, European Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union, Mairead McGuinness.

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