Vienna, 31.03.2017 Schelling: Green light for supervisory reform

Leaner, more efficient, less costly – BMF, FMA, OeNB and BKA to jointly prepare draft legislation by the summer

“After lengthy technical preparations, the green light has been given for a fundamental reform of Austrian supervisory authorities”, emphasised Austrian Minister of Finance Hans Jörg Schelling. Based on an agreement reached at the political level, the Austrian Ministry of Finance (BMF), Financial Market Authority (FMA), National Bank of Austria (OeNB) and Austrian Federal Chancellery (BKA) will work together to submit detailed draft legislation. As agreed, Parliament will deliberate in the autumn and the government will put its contribution on the table by the summer, according to Schelling. “As I outlined in my plans at the FMA supervisory conference and at the BMF in January, supervision must become leaner, more efficient and less costly.”

The Ministry of Finance also has to prepare more legislation, as government needs to make more changes in the area of supervision. “It is a question of being not just accountable, but also responsible”, explained the Minister of Finance. “It is critical, however, that supervision continue to be independent and free from outside direction. A supervisory reform should also increase transparency to Parliament and the public.

“Clear rules are needed for the supervisory process in the future. Supervision must take place faster, more efficiently and without duplication. Businesses need legally binding statements from supervisory authorities. The supervisory authorities are themselves aware that they have been excessive at times, but given the state of the law that was often unavoidable. We therefore want to make supervision flexible again, so that they can focus on what is important. We want to prevent losses, but not create bureaucracy. This is the goal that I now want to achieve with the supervisory authorities”, concluded Minister of Finance Schelling.