La gestione delle crisi bancarie
La tradizione italiana e le nuove regole europee
The Directive No. 59/2014/UE has been recently transposed in Italy to the effect of introducing a completely new set of rules to handle bank crises. Despite being a significant leap forward with respect to the previous legal framework, the new rules are to be regarded as the arrival point of a process that started to display its effects in Italy long before the financial crisis. The flaws of the traditional approach to bank crises based on a state-supported sale of the troubled business had already been severely stressed by the increasingly stringent EU requirements on State aid (only temporarily relaxed during the global financial havoc, when a wave of bail-outs crossed Europe) and the changes occurred to the banking business model that had reduced space for market solutions to crises. Building on that experience and on the political decision of banning the use of taxpayers funds to solve future bank crises, the new rules rest on a clear political choice: the preservation of financial stability needs to be pursed through tools that allocate losses to investors (rather than taxpayers), as it ordinarily happens in case of failure of a non-financial business. The solutions envisaged to achieve this goal – besides strengthening the tools already existing – overcome the traditional view that insolvency tools affect exclusively the debtor’s assets, without interfering with the corporate entity. It is not yet clear whether this framework will satisfactorily achieve its intended goal. Yet it is interesting to explore how Italian banks and investors have reacted and what is probably next.