Brussels, 1 March 2022
The European Commission has today approved the resolution schemes for Sberbank d.d. in Croatia and Sberbank banca d.d. in Slovenia (both subsidiaries of Sberbank Europe AG), based on the schemes adopted by the Single Resolution Board (SRB). The resolution of these banks was approved under the EU’s bank recovery and resolution framework – through the sale-of-business tool – to Hrvatska Poštanska Banka d.d. and Nova Ljubljanska Bank d.d, respectively.
Today’s decisions mean that these two banks will open on Wednesday, 2 March, as normal and their customers will continue to be served without disruption. This will ensure that financial stability in Croatia and Slovenia is safeguarded and depositors are protected. No aid from the Single Resolution Fund has been granted and the sale is subject to normal merger and regulatory review.
The Commission has endorsed the resolution schemes in line with the EU resolution framework, given that the conditions for resolution set out in this framework were met: the banks were failing, there were no private sector solutions outside of resolution, there were no supervisory actions that would have prevented its failure, and a resolution action was necessary in the public interest.
The Commission has also taken note that the SRB deemed that resolution is not necessary for Sberbank Europe AG in Austria and that this entity will be wound up under Austrian insolvency proceedings. Depositors will be compensated up to €100,000 through the Austrian Deposit Guarantee Schemes, in accordance with the EU Directive on Deposit Guarantee Schemes.
Furthermore, the Commission has also taken note of the decision by the Czech authorities to close and wind down the Czech subsidiary. Depositors will be compensated up to €100,000.
On Monday 28 February, the European Central Bank had assessed, and the SRB declared, that the three entities in Austria, Croatia and Slovenia are failing or likely to fail due to rapid and significant deposit withdrawals following the international sanctions on the Russian Federation. The SRB subsequently applied a moratorium of 48 hours in order to assess whether resolution would be necessary in the public interest in order to ensure continuation of critical functions, maintain financial stability and protect depositors. The outcome was that the SRB deemed resolution necessary in the public interest with regard to the Croatian and Slovenian subsidiaries. This was not the case regarding the Austrian entity, which would then be wound up under national insolvency proceedings.
‘Resolution’ means the application of one or more resolution tools in order to achieve one or more resolution objectives. Resolution objectives can be, inter alia,
- (i) to ensure the continuity of a bank’s critical functions,
- (ii) to avoid significant effects on the financial system,
- (iii) to protect public funds by minimising State aid,
- (iv) to protect depositors.
Under the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation, the Single Resolution Board determines that a bank should undergo resolution in case the bank
- (1) is failing or likely to fail,
- (2) there were no alternative private solutions, and
- (3) a resolution action was necessary in the public interest.
In that case, it transmits a resolution scheme to the Commission. The Commission has then to either object or endorse that resolution scheme.
Resolution by the sale-of-business tool is foreseen in the Single Resolution Mechanism Regulation (SRMR) and the Bank Recovery and Resolution Directive (BRRD) under the EU bank resolution framework.