EBA Promises To Improve Q&A Backlog

February 16, 2022
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The European Banking Authority (EBA) has agreed to get quicker at answering questions that are submitted regarding regulatory clarifications.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has agreed to get quicker at answering questions that are submitted regarding regulatory clarifications.

In agreement with the European Commission, the EBA has said that it will answer questions from stakeholders, “efficiently and within a reasonable time”.

In addition to this, questions that the EBA has received that were submitted prior to January 2020 will now be rejected.

Out of the backlog of strong customer authentication (SCA) questions, two will now not be considered out of 37 still waiting for an answer from the banking watchdog.

This includes one submitted in May 2019 by a Dutch law firm, which was looking for clarification regarding the extent to which account information service providers (AISPs) need to comply with the 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

The other question, submitted in February 2019, probes the EBA on if a credit institution providing both card-issuing and card-acquiring services should combine its calculated fraud rates for both payment services to obtain the reference fraud rate to be used for transaction risk analysis (TRA) exemption.

“It is likely that a large majority of these questions may no longer be relevant since new legislative or regulatory developments have occurred,” said the EBA.

However, the banking watchdog has also conceded that some of these questions may still benefit from clarification.

Therefore, submitters that are affected by this rejection will have the possibility to resubmit their question. However, any resubmitted questions must also be adapted to reflect any legislative, regulatory or other relevant developments that may have occurred. The EBA has said it will address any resubmissions as a matter of priority.

“In addition, the EBA and the European Commission will make efforts to address any questions submitted since January 2020 that remain unanswered as soon as possible,” the Paris-based authority said.

Adjustments to the EBA Q&A process, to be applied going forward, have also been introduced.

The EBA will now prioritise Q&As that can contribute most to the harmonisation of regulation and supervision in the EU.

To do this, the admissibility criteria have been adjusted to ensure that the work prioritises issues that:

  1. Are relevant to a broad set of stakeholders.
  2. Are material from a prudential, payments, consumer protection, resolution or other perspectives within the EBA’s remit.
  3. Need guidance or clarification.

“These criteria should also be taken into account when re-submitting questions that were rejected,” the EBA said.

The EBA has also said that it is taking measures to target closing Q&As within nine months, including focusing the process on answering those Q&As which raise material issues relevant for a broad set of stakeholders where additional EBA guidance or clarification would add real value.

“If, exceptionally, this period is unlikely to be met, the submitter will be informed and additional steps are taken to ensure prompt finalisation,” the EBA confirmed.

Whether the submitters who did not get their SCA questions answered will do so again remains to be seen. However, sources have often said that submitters regret doing so once they do get an answer.

In particular with SCA, submission can mean that businesses' day-to-day compliance can end up being less certain once the EBA rules that something is non-compliant with the regulation.

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