Press release 20 March 2020

European Central Bank elaborated on its guidance on regulatory flexibility – FIN-FSA: All measures must be channelled to alleviating the impacts of the pandemic

The European Central Bank announced today further information on measures to support the ability of banks under its direct supervision to respond to the coronavirus situation and to continue funding households and corporations. The ECB clarified its press release of 12 March on relief measures concerning certain additional capital and liquidity requirements.

The FIN-FSA supports the measures stated in the ECB’s release and will apply the policies described in it to banks under its supervision. Both the ECB and the FIN-FSA have sought in many different ways to support the ability of banks to continue funding corporations and households.

Following the decision published by the ECB on 12 March, banks have been allowed additional flexibility in meeting their additional capital and liquidity requirements. By the FIN-FSA’s macroprudential decision of 17 March, the systemic risk buffer has been removed and institution-specific requirements have been revised.

In addition, the Government announced today additional finance of EUR 12 billion for corporations through Finnvera. The primary approach consists of guarantee operations, with loans granted by banks.

 The relief measures of the ECB Banking Supervision, the reductions in macroprudential requirement published by the FIN-FSA already earlier this week, and the support package published by the Government today are geared to strengthen banks’ lending capacity under these exceptional circumstances. The FIN-FSA will monitor closely that banks allocate the relief measures to this purpose instead of paying dividends or performance-based bonuses, states Anneli Tuominen, FIN-FSA Director General.

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