Resolution Framework

On 15 May 2014, the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) was adopted by the EU in order to provide national resolution authorities with comprehensive and effective powers for dealing with failing banks and in-scope investment firms ('institutions'). The BRRD was transposed into Irish law via the European Union (Bank Recovery and Resolution) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 289 of 2015).

This framework and related legislation enhances both the resilience and the resolvability of institutions, which will be better prepared to deal with, and recover from, a crisis situation. Moreover, in the event that an institution does fail, the impact associated with that failure should be minimised.

Specifically, the framework introduced the following key elements:

  • Credit institutions and in-scope investment firms are required to prepare recovery plans, which identify appropriate options that can be executed in the event of a significant financial deterioration of the institution, thereby reducing the likelihood of failure.
  • In addition, the BRRD grants a new set of early intervention powers to supervisors. These powers include the requirement for institutions to execute recovery options, the removal of management, and changing the structure of the institution.
  • Resolution planning activity is undertaken by the Central Bank, or the Single Resolution Board (SRB), in advance of failure to ensure this process is managed effectively.
  • If required, the Central Bank and the SRB have at their disposal a set of resolution tools that can be used to resolve failing institutions in order to minimise the impact of failure on the financial system, the real economy, depositors and taxpayers.
  • Both a national and a European resolution fund have been established to help finance the cost of resolution in the future.
  • The Central Bank of Ireland has established National Resolution Authority Internal Rules.

This framework works in conjunction with a number of other related legislative texts, including the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR).

Bank Creditor Hierarchy Directive

On 7 December 2017, the EU Member States (the Council of the EU) adopted the Bank Creditor Hierarchy Directive (BCHD), which amended the BRRD to introduce greater harmonisation of the creditor hierarchy amongst EU Member States. This was necessary in order to achieve effective absorption of losses by institutions entering resolution within the resolution framework, in particular, through the introduction of new creditor classes and contractual rankings for certain debt instruments. The BCHD was transposed into Irish law via the European Union (Bank Recovery and Resolution) Regulations 2019 (S.I. 127 of 2019).

Risk Reduction Measures (RRM) Package

In May 2019, the EU Member States (the Council of the EU) reached final agreement on a new suite of resolution and prudential measures, known as the RRM Package. The final legal texts were published in the EU's legislation directory (the 'Official Journal') on 7 June 2019. As part of the RRM Package, legislative amendments have been made, inter alia, to both the BRRD and SRMR (known as ‘BRRD2’ and ‘SRMR2’).

National transposition of BRRD2 which amended the European Union (Bank Recovery and Resolution) Regulations 2015 entered into force on 28 December 2020 (S.I. 713 of 2020). BRRD2 and SRMR2 introduced several new and refined powers and discretions, primarily in relation to the minimum requirement for own funds and eligible liabilities (MREL) and related legislation.

Credit Unions

With respect to credit unions, the Central Bank is conferred with a range of resolution powers under the Central Bank and Credit Institutions (Resolution) Act 2011.

See our resolution explainer also.