The debate surrounding changes to the deposit protection system has been sparked by concerns expressed by President of the Bank Willy Chernko and Johannes Rehulka, General Secretary of the Raiffeisen Association. They are worried about how failing banks will be handled in the future and who will ultimately bear the costs in the event of bankruptcy.

The Ministry of Finance is working to convince the public that EU-level efforts are being made to strengthen the banking sector. They emphasize the importance of maintaining strict bail-in regulations, which require creditors and owners of failed banks to cover losses and costs. Austria’s deposit insurance system has been successful in past years and should continue to protect insured savings deposits in the future.

One major concern expressed by representatives from domestic banks is that proposed changes to deposit insurance funds could weaken participation from owners and creditors in bankruptcies, leaving the deposit insurance pot vulnerable. Additionally, preferential treatment for deposit protection in insolvency cases could be eliminated, resulting in banks having to contribute more to the deposit insurance fund.

This debate is focused on improving solutions for large banks in Europe compared with liquidation options for smaller or medium-sized banks. The EU resolution law aims to expand on this topic, although political resistance remains a concern due to cross-border financial liability issues. Overall, stakeholders are working together to ensure that a robust and effective deposit protection system remains in place while also protecting both depositors and the banking sector as a whole.

By Samantha Johnson

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