EU Takes Countries To Court Over ‘Bail-In’ Laws

October 27, 2015

The European Commission is taking legal action against six European countries, including the Netherlands and Luxembourg, after they failed to implement rules that would allow for depositors to have their cash confiscated.

Six countries will be referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for their continued failure to transpose the EU’s “bail-in” laws into national legislation, the European Commission said last Thursday according to The Telegraph.

Taxpayers bailed out banks in the first global financial crisis. Depositors will be in the firing line the next time. Photo: AFP

Most EU countries, UK, the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand all have plans for bail-ins in the event of banks and other large financial institutions getting into difficulty. It is now the case that in the event of bank failure, personal and corporate deposits could be confiscated.

The referral comes after the EU issued a warning against Poland, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Romania and the Czech Republic for their non-compliance earlier this year.

The rules – known as the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) – are designed to stop governments from having to foot the bill for saving banks from going bust by instead forcing savers and deposit holders to foot the bill in an attempt to further protect banks from insolvency.

Brussels will refer six countries to the European Court of Justice over their failure to apply the new, very radical “bail-in” rules. Deposits of less than €100,000 should be protected under the new regime but in reality these limits are arbitrary and would likely be reduced to lower levels in the event of banks being insolvent again in another European and global financial crisis.

In the event of a systemic European banking crisis, however, laws could be changed at the stroke of a pen and “bail-in” mechanisms could become fully operational. Also, the comforting guarantee of €100,000 ($100,000 or £80,000) would likely be reduced in such a crisis.

The era of depositor bail-ins is coming and preparations are in place by the international monetary and financial authorities for bank bail ins. Financial interests of banks are once again being placed over those of small and medium businesses and taxpayers in general. The majority of the public is unaware of these developments, the risks and ramifications, and how they can protect their money.


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Mark O'Byrne is executive and research director of which he founded in 2003. GoldCore have become one of the leading gold brokers in the world and have over 4,000 clients in over 40 countries and with over $200 million in assets under management and storage.We offer mass affluent, HNW, UHNW and institutional investors including family offices, gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion in London, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Perth. 

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