Koenig: ‘Greece responsible for its banks in 2015’

Greece alone would be responsible for winding down any problem bank this year and cannot count on help from other European bank resolution funds, the head of Germany’s financial watchdog, soon to lead the EU’s bank resolution authority, said on Wednesday.

“For everything up to December 31, the Greek national resolution authority is responsible,” Elke Koenig told a journalist briefing.

“Up to January 1, 2016, it is purely a national issue,” said Koenig, who takes up her new post as head of the EU Single Resolution Board on March 1 and aims to have the organization fully operational by January 1 next year.

The four largest Greek banks are supervised by the European Central Bank, with the rest falling under the responsibility of national supervisors.

Koenig said the new authority would focus this year on options for raising bridge financing to tide it over while funding accrued through contributions paid by banks could be built up.

“The ship is pretty empty,” she said of the funding the authority will initially have at its disposal.