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Cooperation between FMA and OeNB optimised: MoU specifies respective responsibilities, settles interfaces and streamlines processes – 2019 priorities for supervision successfully address current issues

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The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) and the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) have used the analysis conducted as part of the discussions about banking supervision reform last year as an opportunity to analyse and evaluate their established cooperation, in order to optimise it in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU clarifies the respective responsibilities, optimises interfaces and streamlines and accelerates processes.

“The circumstances surrounding the reform project allowed the FMA and the OeNB to gain a deeper insight into their respective counterpart, allowing existing potential for increasing efficiency to be duly leveraged. At the same time, the MoU also serves the purposes of transparency towards market participants and the general public,” remarked the FMA’s Executive Directors, Helmut Ettl and Eduard Müller, as well as the OeNB’s Vice Governor, Gottfried Haber. Furthermore, both institutions also highlighted the excellent cooperation to date between the FMA and the OeNB as being a particular attribute for the quality of Austria as a financial centre.

2019 priorities for supervision are proving effective

The priorities for supervision for 2019 jointly drawn up by the FMA and OeNB have addressed the challenges currently faced by the Austrian banking sector, with initial results showing that the measures taken have been effective. In the area of IT and Digitalisation, a focus was placed on IT Security and Cybersecurity. A comprehensive survey about banks’ IT infrastructure, corresponding thematic priorities for on-site inspections as well as increased consideration of security issues in this regard in the Supervisory Review and Evaluation Process (SREP) meant that the risks resulting from technological developments were able to be better recognised and addressed. Sustainable lending was another priority: By means of close supervisory monitoring of banks with above average levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) as well as by communicating clear expectations about the standards for the granting of credit, the supervisor was able to make a contribution towards strengthening the sustainable granting of loans. In the 3rd quarter of 2019, only 29 out of 579 licensed banks still had an NPL ratio of over 5%. This constitutes a halving of the number of banks in the first nine months of the preceding. A further priority was the intensified cooperation with supervisory authorities in Central Eastern and South Eastern Europe (CESEE), which strongly increased the quality of cross-border supervision.

The measures taken and priorities, especially the resulting outcomes highlight how well the cooperation works between the respective institutions. The productive and efficient cooperation makes a significant contribution towards the stability and resilience against crises of Austria as a financial centre.

Journalists may address further enquiries to:

Klaus Grubelnik (FMA)

Tel.: +43/(0)1/24959-6006, or +43/(0)676/88 249 516

Christian Gutlederer (OeNB)

Tel.: +43 / (0)1 / 24959-6007 or +43 / (0)1 / 404 20- 6900

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