At their meetings on 10 December, EU finance ministers reached a preliminary agreement on the outlines of the mechanism for restructuring or unwinding ailing banks.
Based on the Commission proposal of 10 July, the new mechanism, the Single Resolution Mechanism (SRM), would establish an integrated European resolution system for all countries participating in the Banking Union, thus enabling the smooth and speedy restructuring of failing banks when necessary. The SRM would include a single resolution board and a single resolution fund so that the EU can tackle future bank crises efficiently with minimal costs to taxpayers and the economy. The Council Regulation establishing the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), the first leg of the Banking Union, which fully entrusts the European Central Bank (ECB) with the direct supervision of banks in the euro area, was adopted and published in October of this year. An extraordinary ECOFIN meeting will take place during the week of 16 December to finalise the Council's general approach on the SRM.