Menu

Macroprudential measures taken by national authorities since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic

European and national authorities have taken swift measures to address the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the financial sector. Several euro area macroprudential authorities (including central banks and banking supervisors) have reduced capital requirements, including the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) and other macroprudential buffers. These measures amount to more than €20 billion of Common Equity Tier 1 capital held by euro area banks, facilitate the absorption of credit losses and support lending to the economy.

These macroprudential actions complement and reinforce the measures announced by ECB Banking Supervision since 12 March 2020.

Measures taken by macroprudential authorities in euro area countries since 11 March 2020

last update: 8 July 2020

  • Countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) – Among the seven euro area countries with positive rates, authorities in France, Ireland and Lithuania reduced the CCyB to 0%, while those in Belgium and Germany revoked the previously announced CCyB activations. The authority in Slovakia revoked previously announced CCyB increases. Reciprocity arrangements require banks to apply the CCyB rate of the country in which the exposures are located, irrespective of the bank’s location. As a result, euro area bank requirements have not only been lowered due to CCyB reductions in euro area countries, but also due to those in the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hong Kong, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
  • Systemic risk buffer (SyRB) – The authorities in Estonia and Finland dropped the SyRB to 0% while the authority in the Netherlands reduced the existing 3% SyRB for three institutions.
  • Other systemically important institutions (O-SII) buffer – In addition to the reductions in the SyRB, Finland and the Netherlands also decided to lower the O-SII buffer for one bank each. For the institutions in Finland this ensures that the combined structural buffers (SyRB and O-SII buffers) are effectively reduced by 1% of risk weighted assets.
  • Postponing the phase-in or introduction of announced measures – The authorities in Cyprus, Lithuania and Portugal announced that they will delay the phase-in of O-SII buffers by one year – either for all or for some O-SIIs. The Netherlands postponed the introduction of capital surcharges on domestic mortgage loan exposures under Article 458 of the Capital Requirements Regulation (CRR).
  • Chart 1

    Macro- and microprudential measures, worth over €140 billion, make it easier for banks to use capital to absorb losses and support lending

    CET1 capital stack and remaining macroprudential capital buffers in the euro area

    (Q4 2019, € billions)

    Sources: COREP (common reporting), notifications of national designated authorities and websites of national authorities.
    Notes: The sample covers significant and less significant institutions, consolidated at the euro area level. Microprudential adjustments include the decision on the regulatory adjustment of the Pillar 2 requirements (P2R) and making Pillar 2 guidance (P2G) temporarily usable, see press release by ECB Banking Supervision on 20 March 2020. Macroprudential adjustments include the releases of the countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB), the systemic risk buffer (SyRB) and the other systemically important institutions (O-SII) buffer.

    Countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB)

    (Article 136 of the Capital Requirements Directive IV)

    Country

    Previously announced rate
    (announced by 29 February with date of implementation)

    Implemented
    (by 29 February)

    Latest rates notified to the ECB
    (by 31 March with date for application)

    Additional information

    Belgium

    0.5%

    01/07/2020

    0%

    0%

    01/04/2020

    Revoked decision on announced CCyB

    Germany

    0.25%

    01/7/02020

    0%

    0%

    01/04/2020

    Revoked decision on announced CCyB

    France

    0.5%

    02/04/2020

    0.25%

    0%

    02/04/2020

    Revoked decision on announced CCyB and release of implemented CCyB

    Ireland

    1%

    05/07/2019 

    1%

    0%

    01/04/2020

     

    Lithuania

    1%

    30/06/2019

    1%

    0%

    01/04/2020

     

    Luxemburg

    0.5%

    01/01/2021

    0.25%

    0.5%

    01/01/2021

     

    Slovakia

    2%

    01/08/2020

    1.5%

    1.5%

    01/05/2020

    Revoked decision on announced CCyB

    Total capital released via CCyB: €13.7 billion (taking into account CCyB release by countries outside euro area)

    Systemic risk buffer (SyRB)

    (Article 133 of the Capital Requirements Directive IV)

    Country

    Previously announced rate
    (announced by 29 February)

    Implemented
    (by 29 February)

    Latest rates notified to the ECB
    (by 31 March, with and date for application)

    Additional information

    Estonia

    1%

    1%

    0%

    01/05/2020

     

    Finland

    1%-3%

    1%-3%

    0%

    17/04/2020

     

    Netherlands

    3%

    3%

    1.5%-2.5%

    23/04/2020

     

    Total capital released via SyRB: €7.5 billion

    Other systemically important institutions (O-SII) buffer

    (Article 131 of the Capital Requirements Directive IV)

    Country

    Previously announced rate
    (announced by 29 February with date of implementation)

    Implemented
    (by 29 February)

    Latest rates notified to the ECB
    (by 31 March with date for application)

    Additional information

    Cyprus

    0.38% - 1.50%

    01/01/2021

    0.25%-1%

    0.25%-1%

     

    Postponement of remaining phase-in by 12 months

    Finland

    0.5%- 2%

    0.5%-2%

    0.5%-2%

    17/03/2020

    Reduced O-SII buffer for one bank

    Lithuania

    1%-2%

    01/01/2021

    0.5%-2%

    0.5%-2%

    Postponement of remaining phase-in by 12 months for one bank

    Netherlands

    1% - 2%

    1%-2%

    1%-2%

    23/04/2020

    Reduced O-SII buffer for one bank

    Portugal

    0.25% - 1%

    01/01/2021

    0.19%-0.75%

    0.19%-0.75%

     

    Postponement of remaining phase-in by 12 months

    Total capital released via O-SII buffers: €0.6 billion

    Adjustments to risk weights

    (Article 458 of the Capital Requirements Regulation)

    Country

    Previously notified measure to the ECB

    Previously notified measure to the ECB

    Additional information

    Netherlands

    Floor on risk weights of domestic mortgage loan exposures of IRB banks foreseen for Q3 2020. The floor increases with the LTV ratio of the underlying mortgage loans.

    Postponement of announced measure

     

    Total capital released via adjustments to risk weights: €2.0 billion

    Total capital released via macroprudential measures: €23.8 billion

    Source: Notifications by national authorities and ECB calculations.

    Note: Revoked CCyB announcements and postponed O-SII are not taken into account in the total capital released.

    Implemented macroprudential measures in countries subject to ECB Banking Supervision and notified to the ECB

    Under the SSM Regulation (EU Regulation No 1024/2013), the ECB has been assigned specific powers in the field of macroprudential policies. In particular, the ECB is responsible for assessing macroprudential measures adopted by national authorities in the countries subject to ECB Banking Supervision.

    The ECB has the power to apply, if deemed necessary, more stringent measures than adopted nationally to address risks to financial stability. The powers are based on Article 5 of the SSM Regulation and Article 13h of the Rules of Procedure of the ECB (ECB/2014/1), OJ L 95, 29.3.2014.

    Overview of measures notified to the ECB under Article 5 of the SSM Regulation last update: 08 July 2020