* Big banks under SRB to hold MREL “well above” 8 pct
* SRB says global, EU bail in rules can be harmonised
By Huw Jones
LONDON, March 3 (Reuters) - Harmonising global and European Union requirements for banks to issue bonds for writing down in a crisis is “perfectly feasible”, the body responsible for winding down top euro zone lenders said on Thursday.
The world’s biggest 30 banks, known as GSIBs and with eight in the euro zone such as BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and SocGen, must issue so-called bail-inable debt know as TLAC to supplement their core capital buffers over coming years.
The EU, however, has passed a law introducing a similar requirement known as MREL on all lenders across the 28-country bloc, raising industry concerns over how the two sets of rules would mesh together to avoid duplication or confusion among investors who buy the bonds.
The bonds are seen as key by policymakers to ending “too big to fail” banks by ensuring they have enough resources to avoid taxpayer help in a crisis.
Elke Koenig, chair of the Single Resolution Board, responsible for winding down troubled banks in the 19-country euro area, said it was “perfectly feasible” to align both systems.
A public consultation on MREL from the Bank of England, which regulates British lenders, showed this was the case, Koenig said.
“We will be feeding (the TLAC principles) into our consideration, I would say, for all the banks under our remit,” Koenig said in a speech in London.
The SRB’s remit covers 120 banks, and she said they will have to hold MREL equivalent to “not less” than 8 percent of total liabilities, but on a case-by-case basis.
“Probably, and most likely, well above will generally be required for the largest banks in the banking union,” Koenig added.
While the euro zone’s biggest banks could benefit from harmonising the global and EU rules, debt market participants fear it could move the goal posts for bank capital requirements once again. (Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Adrian Croft)