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the ombudsman and stakeholders November 12, 2013

Posted by Bradley in : stakeholders , trackback

The EU Ombudsman has published a critical decision with respect to the European Banking Authority’s 2011 appointment of the Banking Stakeholders Group (this is the appointment of the group prior to last month’s announcement of a new Banking Stakeholders Group).
The decision states:

the Ombudsman is conscious of the difficulties inherent in combining geographical, gender and interest representation criteria with the need to ensure that the members chosen are competent, particularly in view of the fact that, as stated above, the EBA had no previous experience of carrying out this task. Finally, the Ombudsman takes the view that it was reasonable of the EBA to have confined its selection of BSG members from among those who had expressed an interest in appointment following a call for expression of interest from potential stakeholders. This approach complied with Article 37 (3) of the Regulation and the requirement laid down therein, according to which, “members of the Banking Stakeholder Group shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors, following proposals from the relevant stakeholders”

Nevertheless, the Ombudsman did find instances of maladministration. For example:

the Ombudsman finds that, in the absence of any convincing explanation, by deciding to appoint 9 out of the 10 members of the “industry” category by selecting representatives from “old” Member States, the EBA did not comply with the requirement to ensure “to the extent possible”, “an appropriate geographical balance and representation of stakeholders across the Union”. It thus committed an instance of maladministration.

Choosing all five consumer stakeholders from “new” Member States and only one employee stakeholder member were other instances of maladministration.The Ombudsman also wrote that identifying entities as user stakeholders which were:

clearly not retail users of the services provided by the financial/banking sector, but rather providers of services to the latter (accounting and audit firms, credit-rating agencies) cannot be considered to be in line with the Regulation.

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