30th January 2014

ECOFIN meeting of 28 January

EU finance ministers met on 28 January under Greek presidency at the Economic and Finance Affairs Council in Brussels. The agenda included the new mortgage directive, Croatia´s excessive deficit procedure, the Single Supervisory Mechanism implementation and a number of smaller issues, such as implementation of sanctions against Sudan and South Sudan. Concerning the Single Supervisory Mechanism scheduled to be fully functional by November 2014, the ECB informed the ministers about the planned asset quality review and stress test to be carried out in the following months on banks which are to be under its direct supervision. Regarding Croatia, the Council stated that an excessive deficit is present in Croatia and approved recommendations on measures to be carried out by 2016 in order for Croatia´s deficit to meet the EU 3% GDP criteria. Following a favorable vote in the European Parliament, the Council approved by qualified majority a new directive aimed at creating a single mortgage market. The Council adopted all amendments by the MEPs in the first reading and the directive is therefore in force and Member States are required to transpose it into their respective legislations within two years. The directive applies to all consumer mortgages and addresses questions such as misleading advertising, insufficient pre-contractual information or irresponsible borrowing, thus increasing consumer protection on the mortgage market.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic