How banking supervision is organized in Austria

Banking supervision in Austria – who is doing what?

Within the SSM, the ongoing supervision of banks operating in Austria is a responsibility shared by the ECB, the FMA and the OeNB. The Austrian Ministry of Finance is responsible for developing the necessary regulatory provisions, based on EU law, unless the relevant EU provisions apply directly.

Banking supervision in Austria
Who is doing what    
 
The OeNB monitors financial stability in Austria in general. In banking supervision, the OeNB is in charge of fact finding: It undertakes on-site inspections, analyzes the information compiled and drafts reports. Moreover, the OeNB is responsible for processing reporting data.   The ECB has been responsible for the supervision of banks in the euro area since November 4, 2014. It directly supervises significant banks, whereas less significant banks are supervised by the national competent authorities subject to oversight by the ECB.
 
The FMA is the designated public authority in Austria for banking supervision and macroprudential supervision, for the supervision of insurance companies and pension funds, as well as for securities regulation. The FMA monitors compliance with the relevant rules and is also the Austrian resolution authority.   The Austrian Ministry of Finance is responsible for drafting government bills and converting EU legal acts into Austrian legislation.


Another key player in the field of banking supervision, in addition to the ECB, the FMA, the OeNB and the Austrian Ministry of Finance, is the European Banking Authority (EBA). As an independent EU agency, the EBA is in charge of regulating the European banking sector as a whole, including EU countries beyond the euro area.

How the supervisory function is organized at the OeNB

  • With a view to ensuring efficient interaction with ECB counterparties, the supervisory function at the OeNB is organized in separate business areas covering off-site and on-site supervision as well as significant and less significant banks. The Department for the Supervision of Significant institutions is composed of one division for the on-site supervision and one division for the off-site supervision of significant banks operating in Austria. Similarly, the Department for Financial Stability and the Supervision of Less Significant Institutions is composed of one division for the on-site supervision and one division for the off-site supervision of less significant banks. Apart from on-site and off-site supervision divisions, the Department for the Supervision of Significant institutions also houses a supervision policy division, which is tasked with horizontal activities such as stress testing or briefing management as well as with handling regulatory and strategic issues. The Department for Financial Stability and the Supervision of Less Significant Institutions also houses a division which deals with general financial stability and macroprudential supervision issues rather than the supervision of individual banks. All of the above divisions and departments report to Vice Governor Andreas Ittner, who is the Governing Board member in charge of the OeNB’s financial stability, banking supervision and statistical functions.

The role of the EBA

  • While the Single Supervisory Mechanism is the operational arm of banking supervision in the 19 euro area countries, the European Banking Authority (EBA) is an independent EU agency that serves as the central regulatory authority for all 28 EU countries. The EBA is tasked with establishing a uniform regulatory framework – in the form of binding technical standards and guidelines – for harmonized banking supervision on the basis of EU acts, such as the Capital Adequacy Regulation (CAR) or the Capital Adequacy Directive (CAD). These legal acts, in turn, are based on the international standards drawn up by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

    The EBA is represented externally by its Chairperson. The EBA’s main decision-making body, its Board of Supervisors (BoS), takes all policy decisions of the EBA, such as adopting draft technical standards, guidelines, opinions and reports. Austria is represented in the Board of Supervisors by the FMA (voting member) as well as by the OeNB (nonvoting member). Reflecting the division of tasks between the OeNB and the FMA, the OeNB contributes to numerous EBA activities and the development of EBA technical standards and guidelines.