On 25 March 2020, the European Banking Authority (EBA) issued the following statements related to the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Statement on the application of the prudential framework regarding default, forbearance and IFRS9 in light of COVID-19 measures. The EBA is supportive of the measures taken and proposed by Member State national governments and EU bodies to address the adverse systemic economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the form of a general moratorium, payment holidays stemming from public measures or industry-wide payment relief initiatives taken by credit institutions (referred to as public and private moratoria in the statement). The statement goes on to discuss: (i) general considerations on the accounting and regulatory framework; (ii) prudential identification of default; (iii) classification of forbearance; and (iv) considerations on IFRS9;
- Statement on consumer and payment issues in light of COVID-19. In this statement the EBA comments on the general debt moratoria and payment holidays that stem from public measures or industry-wide initiatives that have been taken by credit institutions. For example, without prejudice to any conditions imposed by legally mandated moratoria the EBA reminds financial institutions to grant such measures in compliance with EU law, such as the Mortgage Credit Directive and the Consumer Credit Directive and, in particular, the importance of full information disclosure, especially of any potential charges and costs, and the transparency and clarity of terms and conditions. The EBA also makes specific reference to payment services including calling on payment services providers (PSPs) to contribute to measures that limit the spread of COVID-19 and, to that end, to facilitate consumers’ ability to make payments without the need for physical contact, by making use of the existing exemption from strong customer authentication (SCA) available for contactless payments at the point of sale under Article11 of the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on SCA&CSC. In the event that thresholds set by PSPs for using this exemption are below the threshold allowed under the RTS, the EBA additionally encourages PSPs to increase, where possible, these limits up to the maximum thresholds of EUR 50 per transaction as allowed under the RTS; and
- Statement on postponed EBA activities. To support banks’ focus on key operations and to limit any non-essential requests in the short term, the EBA has reviewed all ongoing activities requiring inputs from banks in the next months. In particular, the EBA has decided: (i) to extend the deadlines of ongoing public consultations by two months; (ii) to postpone all public hearings already scheduled to a later date and run them remotely via teleconference or similar means; (iii) to extend the remittance date for funding plans data; and (iv) in coordination with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, to extend the remittance date for the QIS based on December 2019 data. The statement contains tables that set out the detailed changes.