Thursday

25th May 2017

States can force bank recapitalisation, EU court says

  • (Photo: bundesbank.de)

An EU state can take shares in a bank against shareholders' consent when the country's and the EU's financial stability is at stake, the European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday (8 November).

The court ruled in favour of the Irish government, which in 2011 recapitalised the Irish Life and Permanent Group (ILPG) bank by pumping in €2.7 billion, thus taking a 99.2 percent share in the bank.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The government later injected another €1.3 billion in the bank.

The government acted through a direction order obtained in court to bypass the opposition of ILPG's shareholders, who later took the case to the Irish High Court and then to the ECJ.


"The direction order was the only means of ensuring the recapitalisation of ILP that was necessary to prevent the failure of that financial institution and thereby to forestall a serious threat to the financial stability of the EU," the judges argued.

At the time of the near takeover of ILPG by the Irish state, Ireland was under an €85-billion international bailout plan launched in December 2010 to prevent the collapse of the banking system.

Although there was a "clear public interest in ensuring a strong and consistent protection of shareholders and creditors," the judges said, "that interest cannot be held to prevail in all circumstances over the public interest in ensuring the stability of the financial system established by the EU treaties".

Analysis

Deutsche Bank crisis tests EU regulation

EU finance ministers insist that the bank's losses are not a systemic threat, but they revive the debate about the safeguards put in place after the financial crisis.

Portugal held up as symbol of EU recovery

Portugal to sail out of troubled waters after eight years of financial crisis, EU commission predicted, amid broad but "fragile" recovery in European economy.

Trade deal ratification needs member states, EU court says

The EU Court of Justice has ruled that the Singapore trade deal needs member states' ratification in its current form. It said that only investments do not belong under the EU's sole competence, potentially removing Brexit complications.

News in Brief

  1. Pressure grows on climate impact of EU timber harvesting
  2. US goes after Fiat Chrysler over emissions cheat
  3. Munich police break up Europe-wide burglar clan
  4. Report: VW threatened with €19.7 billion French fine
  5. Turkey begins mass trial of suspected coup leaders
  6. Merkel's CDU consolidates lead in polls
  7. France to host Russian president
  8. Switzerland votes against nuclear power

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFChild Alert on Myanmar: Fruits of Rapid Development yet to Reach Remote Regions
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersBecome an Explorer - 'Traces of Nordic' Seeking Storytellers Around the World
  3. Malta EU 2017Closer Cooperation and Reinforced Solidarity to Ensure Security of Gas Supply
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceHigh-Intensity Interval Training Is Therapeutic Option for Type 2 Diabetes
  5. Dialogue Platform"The West Must Help Turkey Return to a Democratic Path" a Call by Fethullah Gulen
  6. ILGA-EuropeRainbow Europe 2017 Is Live - Which Countries Are Leading on LGBTI Equality?
  7. Centre Maurits CoppietersWhen You Invest in a Refugee Woman You Help the Whole Community
  8. Eurogroup for AnimalsECJ Ruling: Member States Given No Say on Wildlife Protection In Trade
  9. European Heart NetworkCall for Urgent Adoption of EU-Wide Nutrient Profiles for Nutrition & Health Claims
  10. Counter BalanceInvestment Plan for Europe More Climate Friendly but European Parliament Shows Little Ambition
  11. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi: China's Belt and Road Initiative Benefits People Around the World
  12. Malta EU 2017EU Strengthens Control of the Acquisition and Possession of Firearms

Latest News

  1. Openness over Brexit is 'political play', says EU ombudsman
  2. Le Pen's EU group in fresh spending scandal
  3. New EU right to data portability to cause headaches
  4. Cyber threats are inevitable, paralyzing impact is not
  5. Transparency complaints keep EU Ombudsman busy
  6. EU sets out criteria for relocating UK agencies
  7. EU states back bill against online hate speech
  8. Dutch coalition talks collapse again