On 9 January 2019, the European Central Bank (ECB) has published a consolidated version of its guide to assessments of licence applications. The text, which is not legally binding, combines the content of the first guide published in March 2018 and that of Part 2 (which focuses on capital requirements and programme of operations, including business plans) which follows a public consultation which ended on 25 October 2018.

The guide applies to all licence applications to become a credit institution within the meaning of the Capital Requirements Regulation, including, but not limited to, initial authorisations for credit institutions, applications from fintech companies, authorisations in the context of mergers and acquisitions, bridge bank applications and licence extensions. One of the guide’s primary objectives is to promote awareness and enhance the transparency of the assessment criteria and processes for the establishment of a credit institution within the single supervisory mechanism.