Home About FBF Overview L'Expansion holds a debate between the FBF and Finance Watch  


29 march 2016

L'Expansion holds a debate between the FBF and Finance Watch

In a debate for L'Expansion, Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, CEO of the FBF, and Christophe Nijdam, secretary general of Finance Watch, discussed the subject: "Are we heading towards a new banking crisis?". Selected extracts.


We have come a long way since 2008

Despite the decline in European banking stocks at the start of the year, Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani rejects the notion that there is a crisis ahead: "The current situation is nothing like that of 2008. The banking sector has evolved enormously". The reaction of the markets can be explained by global factors such as investor fears concerning the solidity of global growth or the fall in oil prices. Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani believes nevertheless that "a real question exists concerning the matter of banks' profitability. (...) We don't really know what capital levels will be applicable in the months and years ahead. This regulatory uncertainty weighs on bank stocks".

Efficiency of stress tests

For Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, the regularity and transparency of the results have given stress tests real credibility. "During the last wave of stress tests in 2014, euro zone banks also underwent unprecedented asset quality reviews that were akin to a complete check-up of their balance sheets. While the stress tests getting underway today concern fewer banks than last time, they cover 70% of the European banking sector. What's more, these tests are only one means of bank surveillance. We also have the new single supervisory mechanism, which is unequalled in the world, higher capital ratios, etc."

Systemic risk

A bank's risk is not necessarily linked to its size. As Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani says, "in France, the bigger banks did not pose a problem during the financial crisis". Moreover, systemically important banks are subject to specific measures such as the TLAC, under which they must establish and hold a minimum buffer of financial resources than can be transformed into capital. "The goal is to be able to deal with difficulties without calling on aid from member states", recaps Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani.

Top of the page