Vienna, 09 November 2012 Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance: Government agrees on new bank restructuring and accounting police Agreements at government conference intended to strengthen financial sector

As a result of the international banking and financial crisis of the past few years, at its conference in Laxenburg the coalition has agreed to upgrade the role of the Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA).

Accounting police

Through the so-called Accounting Control Act, in future the accuracy of financial reporting of stock-market-listed companies is to be more strictly regulated. The aim of the enforcement procedure to be established is to check accounting data and this is to be undertaken in a process whereby the work is shared by the FMA and an audit agency to be newly formed. Inaccuracies in the preparation of company financial statements and reports are thereby to be countered on a preventive basis. In addition, capital market information will be assured through the publication of identified errors.

Bank restructuring and intervention law

The plan is additionally to stabilize the financial market further through a so-called bank-restructuring and intervention law, in that regulatory steps will be taken at an earlier stage in the event of problems, and appropriate measures will enable any threat of bank insolvency to be averted. Secondly, the intention is to ensure in future as far as possible that any contribution of taxpayer funds is not required if banks get into difficulty. The FMA will be provided with early-intervention instruments so that high-risk situations can be countered through regulation at an early stage. The banks must generate restructuring and liquidation plans ("bank testament") in order to prevent a disorderly collapse and any burden to the public purse.