Agree­ment on Bank­ing Pack­age at Ecofin meet­ing

The Malta Business Weekly - - FRONT PAGE -

The Fi­nance Min­is­ters’ meet­ing held last week in Brus­sels for the May Ecofin ses­sion reached an agree­ment on the Bank­ing Pack­age. The pack­age of pro­pos­als is aimed at re­duc­ing risks and pre­serv­ing fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity. Fur­ther dis­cus­sions are now needed with the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment be­fore its fi­nal adop­tion.

Dur­ing his in­ter­ven­tion, Min­is­ter for Fi­nance Prof. Ed­ward Sci­cluna ad­dressed the is­sue of the Min­i­mum Re­quire­ments for Own Funds and El­i­gi­ble Li­a­bil­i­ties and em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of al­low­ing suf­fi­cient time for banks to meet these new re­quire­ments, es­pe­cially due to the stricter re­quire­ments that banks must sat­isfy. This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant for banks op­er­at­ing in smaller economies.

Dur­ing the meet­ing the min­is­ter stated that “since this is­sue is of rel­e­vance to the par­tic­u­lar bank struc­tures in my coun­try, we main­tain that greater flex­i­bil­ity would need to be ex­er­cised in set­ting dead­lines af­ter 2024 to re­spect the prin­ci­ple of pro­por­tion­al­ity”.

The Ecofin Coun­cil also unan­i­mously adopted a di­rec­tive on tax in­ter­me­di­aries aimed at pre­vent­ing ag­gres­sive cross-bor­der tax plan­ning.

Tax in­ter­me­di­aries such as tax ad­vi­sors, ac­coun­tants and lawyers who de­sign and/or pro­mote tax plan­ning schemes will be re­quired to re­port schemes that are po­ten­tially ag­gres­sive. Ad­di­tion­ally, mem­ber states will be re­quired to au­to­mat­i­cally ex­change the in­for­ma­tion and can im­pose penal­ties if in­ter­me­di­aries fail to com­ply.

Mean­while, the Ecofin Coun­cil also dis­cussed other VAT pro­pos­als, ad­min­is­tra­tive cooperation in the field of VAT, VAT Recharge Mech­a­nism and the VAT e-pub­li­ca­tions, on which fur­ther dis­cus­sions are needed for an agree­ment to be reached by Ecofin min­is­ters.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna also par­tic­i­pated in the Eurogroup meet­ing which dis­cussed the Greek eco­nomic ad­just­ment pro­gramme, namely the re­turn of Greece to cap­i­tal mar­kets fol­low­ing the eight-year bailout pro­gramme, job cre­ation and growth in the euro area.

Min­is­ter Sci­cluna was ac­com­pa­nied by Malta’s Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Euro­pean Union Mar­lene Bon­nici and Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of the Min­istry for Fi­nance Al­fred Camil­leri.

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