Committee of European Banking Supervisors

The Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS) was an independent advisory group on banking supervision in the European Union (EU).[1] Established by the European Commission in 2004 by Decision 2004/5/EC,[2] and its charter revised on 23 January 2009, it was composed of senior representatives of bank supervisory authorities and central banks of the European Union. On 1 January 2011, this committee was succeeded by the European Banking Authority (EBA), which took over all existing and ongoing tasks and responsibilities of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (CEBS). The European Banking Authority was established by Regulation (EC) No. 1093/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 November 2010.[3]

Its role was to:

  • Advise the European Commission, on the latter’s request, or within a time period the Commission may have set depending on the urgency of the matter, or acting on its own behalf, in particular as regards the preparation of draft measures in the scope of lending activities.
  • Contribute to the consistent implementation of EU directives and the convergence of financial supervisory practices in all member states of the entire European Community.
  • Improve supervisory cooperation, including exchange of information.

European Economic Area countries which are not EU members participated as permanent observers.

The other level-3 committees of the European Union in the Lamfalussy process are the Committee of European Securities Regulators and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors.


As part of the so-called Lamfalussy process, the Commission adopted Decision 2004/5/EC of 5 November 2003, establishing the Committee (OJ L 3, 7.1.2004, p. 28.).

The Committee took up its duties on 1 January 2004, serving as an independent body for reflection, debate and advice of the Commission in the field of banking regulation and supervision. […] to establish a new organisational structure for financial services committees (OJ L 79, 24 March 2005, p. 9.), the Commission carried out a review of the Lamfalussy process in 2007 and presented its assessment in a Communication of 20 November 2007 entitled ‘Review of the Lamfalussy process – Strengthening supervisory convergence’ (COM(2007) 727 final.).

In the Communication, the Commission pointed out the importance of the Committee of European Securities Regulators, the Committee of European Banking Supervisors and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (hereinafter the Committees of Supervisors) in an increasingly integrated European financial market. A clear framework for the activities of these Committees in the area of supervisory convergence and cooperation was deemed necessary.

While reviewing the functioning of the Lamfalussy process, the Council invited the Commission to clarify the role of the Committees of Supervisors and consider all different options to strengthen the working of those Committees, without unbalancing the current institutional structure or reducing the accountability of supervisors (Council Conclusions 15698/07 of 4 December 2007).

At its meeting on 13 and 14 March 2008, the European Council called for swift improvements to the functioning of the Committees of Supervisors (Council Conclusions 7652/1/08 Rev 1.).

On 14 May 2008 (Council Conclusions 8515/3/08 Rev 3), the Council invited the Commission to revise the Commission Decisions establishing the Committees of Supervisors so as to ensure coherence and consistency in their mandates and tasks as well as to strengthen their contributions to supervisory cooperation and convergence. The Council noted that specific tasks could be explicitly given to the Committees to foster supervisory cooperation and convergence, and their role in assessing risks to financial stability. Therefore a reinforced legal framework regarding the role and tasks of the Committee in this respect should be provided.


— European Commission Decision 2004/5/EC[1]

So the European Commission’s decision (2009/78/EC) of 23 January 2009, “for reasons of legal security and clarity”, repealed, in its 16th article Decision 2004/5/EC,[1] which changed the legal framework of the Committee.

On 1 January 2011 the Committee was superseded by the European Banking Authority.[3]

Roles (tasks)

In particular, according to article 2 of the Decision 2009/78/EC,

“The Committee shall advise the Commission, in particular as regards the preparation of draft implementing measures in the field of banking activities and in the field of financial conglomerates, on its own initiative or at the request of the Commission. Where the Commission requests advice from the Committee, it may lay down a time limit within which the Committee shall provide such advice. Such time limit shall be laid down taking into account the urgency of the matter.”.

— European Commission Decision 2009/78/EC[1]

According to article 3 of the same Decision,

“The Committee shall fulfil the tasks assigned to it and contribute to the common and uniform implementation and consistent application of Community legislation by issuing non-binding guidelines, recommendations and standards”.[1]

According to article 4 of same Decision,

  • The Committee shall enhance cooperation between national supervisory authorities in the field of banking and foster the convergence of Member States’ supervisory practices and approaches throughout the Community. To this effect, it shall carry out, at least, the following tasks:

(a) mediate or facilitate mediation between supervisory authorities in cases specified in the relevant legislation or at the request of a supervisory authority;

(b) provide opinions to supervisory authorities in cases specified in the relevant legislation or at their request;

(c) promote the effective bilateral and multilateral exchange of information between supervisory authorities subject to applicable confidentiality provisions;

    1. (d) facilitate the delegation of tasks between supervisory authorities, in particular by identifying tasks which can be delegated and by promoting best practices;
    2. (e) contribute to ensuring the efficient and consistent functioning of colleges of supervisors in particular through setting guidelines for the operational functioning of colleges, monitoring the coherence of the practices of the different colleges and sharing best practices;
    3. (f) contribute to developing high-quality and common supervisory reporting standards;
    4. (g) review the practical application of the non-binding guidelines, recommendations and standards issued by the Committee.
  • The Committee shall review the Member States’ supervisory practices and assess their convergence on an ongoing basis. The Committee shall report annually on progress achieved and identify the remaining obstacles.
  • The Committee shall develop new practical convergence tools to promote common supervisory approaches”.[1]

According to article 5:

  • The Committee shall monitor and assess developments in the banking sector and, where necessary, inform the Committee of European Securities Regulators, the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors and the Commission. The Committee shall ensure that the finance ministries and national central banks of the Member States are informed about potential or imminent problems.
  • The Committee shall, at least twice a year, provide assessments to the Commission of micro-prudential trends, potential risks and vulnerabilities in the banking sector. The Committee shall include in these assessments a classification of the main risks and vulnerabilities and indicate to what extent such risks and vulnerabilities pose a threat to financial stability and, where necessary, propose preventative or remedial actions. The Council shall be informed of these assessments.
  • The Committee shall have in place procedures enabling the supervisory authorities to react promptly. Where appropriate, the Committee shall facilitate a joint assessment amongst supervisors within the Community on risks and vulnerabilities which may negatively affect the stability of the financial system of the Community.
  • The Committee shall ensure an adequate coverage of cross-sectoral developments, risks and vulnerabilities by closely cooperating with the Committee of European Securities Regulators, the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors and the Banking Supervision Committee of the European System of Central Banks.[1]

Article 6:

  • The Committee shall contribute to the development of common supervisory practices in the field of banking as well as on a cross-sectoral basis in close cooperation with the Committee of European Securities Regulators and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors.
  • To this effect, it shall in particular establish sectoral and cross-sectoral training programmes, facilitate personnel exchanges and encourage competent authorities to intensify the use of secondment schemes, joint inspection teams and supervisory visits and other tools.
  • The Committee shall, as appropriate, develop new instruments to promote the common supervisory practices.
  • The Committee shall enhance cooperation with the supervisory authorities of third countries, in particular by their participation in common training programmes.[1]

Structure (organisation and operation)

According to articles 7–15 of the Decision 2009/78/EC:[1]

Article 7:

  • The Committee shall be composed of high-level representatives from the following organisations:
    • (a) the national public authorities competent for the supervision of credit institutions, hereinafter ‘the competent supervisory authorities’;
    • (b) the national central banks entrusted with specific operational responsibilities for the supervision of individual credit institutions alongside a competent supervisory authority;
    • (c) the central banks which are not directly involved in the supervision of individual credit institutions, including the European Central Bank.
  • Each Member State shall designate high-level representatives to participate in the meetings of the Committee. The European Central Bank shall designate a high level representative to participate in the Committee.
  • The Commission shall be present at the meetings of the Committee and shall designate a high-level representative to participate in its debates.
  • The Committee shall elect a chairperson from among the representatives of the competent supervisory authorities.
  • The Committee may invite experts and observers to attend its meetings.

Article 8:

  • The members of the Committee shall be required not to disclose information covered by the obligation of professional secrecy. All participants in the discussions shall be obliged to comply with the applicable rules of professional secrecy.
  • Whenever discussion of an item on the agenda entails the exchange of confidential information concerning a supervised institution, participation in such discussion may be restricted to the competent supervisory authorities directly involved and the national central banks entrusted with specific operational responsibilities for the supervision of the individual credit institutions concerned.

Article 9:

  • The Committee shall regularly inform the Commission about the outcome of its activities. It shall have regular contacts with the European Banking Committee established by Commission Decision 2004/10/EC (OJ L 3, 7.1.2004, p. 36.) and the competent Committee of the European Parliament.
  • The Committee shall ensure cross-sectoral consistency of work in the financial services sectors by regular and close cooperation with the Committee of European Securities Regulators and the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors.
  • The chairperson of the Committee shall meet the chairpersons of the Committee of European Securities Regulators and of the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors at least once a month.

Article 10:

The Committee may set up working groups. The Commission shall be invited to the meetings of the working groups as an observer.

Article 11

The Committee shall co-operate in the area of supervision of financial conglomerates with the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors in a Joint Committee on Financial Conglomerates.

The Commission and the European Central Bank shall be invited to the meetings of the Joint Committee on Financial Conglomerates as observers.

Article 12

Before transmitting its opinion to the Commission, the Committee shall, at an early stage, consult market participants, consumers and end-users extensively and in an open and transparent manner. The Committee shall publish the results of the consultations, unless the respondent requests otherwise.

When providing advice on provisions applicable to both credit institutions and investment firms, the Committee shall consult all authorities which are competent for the supervision of investment firms and are not already represented in the Committee.

Article 13

The Committee shall draw up an annual work programme and transmit it to the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission by the end of October each year. The Committee shall periodically and at least annually inform the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on the achievement of the activities set out in the work programme.

Article 14

The Committee shall work by consensus of its members. If no consensus can be reached, decisions shall be taken by qualified majority. The votes of the representatives of the Members of the Committee shall correspond to the votes of the Member States as laid down in Articles 205(2) and (4) of the Treaty. Members of the Committee which do not follow the guidelines, recommendations, standards and other measures agreed by the Committee shall be prepared to present the reasons for this choice.

Article 15

The Committee shall adopt its own rules of procedure and organise its own operational arrangements.

With regard to decisions concerning amendments to the rules of procedure and elections to and dismissals from the Board of the Committee, the rules of procedure may foresee decisionmaking procedures that are different from those set out in Article 14.


The office of the Secretariat of the CEBS was located in the City of London, UK.[4]

  • List of acronyms: European sovereign-debt crisis


  1. ^ Jump up to:ab c d e f g h i “OJEU 29.1.2009 – COMMISSION DECISION of 23 January 2009 establishing the Committee of European Banking Supervisors (2009/78/EC)”. OJEU. 4 October 2009. p. L 23–27.
  2. ^“Banks: regulatory and supervisory consultative committees”, in Europa, Summaries of EU Legislation (official EU website). Retrieved on 11 July 2011.
  3. ^ Jump up to:ab European Banking Authority
  4. ^“CEBS – about us”. Archived from the original on 21 March 2009. Retrieved 4 October 2009.

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library

Ofer Abarbanel online library