EU Finance Ministers early Thursday agreed on new rules to deal with failing banks in Europe.
"I am very pleased that finance ministers of the member states have managed a few minutes ago to reach broad political agreement on the future rules for how to restructure and resolve failing banks," said Michel Barnier, EU Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, in a statement.
"These rules are of utmost importance to protect taxpayers from having to bail-out banks in the future," he said and noted that depositors would continue to have full protection of their deposits under 100,000 euro even when a bank runs into trouble. The agreement also paves the way for the EU to move forward with the Banking Union.
The proposed rules will now go before the European Parliament for approval.
On his part, Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan, who brokered the agreement in an extraordinary meeting with EU Finance, said in press statements that "during the financial crisis, there was no single set of tools available to member states to deal with failing banks and we saw varying reactions across Europe." Under the new rules, in the event of future banking failures taxpayers will be protected, he noted. Ireland holds the current EU Presidency.
Dutch Finance Minister, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who is also the President of the Eurogroup, told reporters after the meeting that "If a bank gets in trouble we will now throughout Europe have one set of rules on who pays the bill."