One of the top jobs out for redistribution this year is the chairmanship of the European Banking Authority (EBA) after the move of Mr Enria to the supervisory board of the ECB.
On 19thFebruary the EBA supervisory board has designated Jose Manuel Campa has as the new chair of the EBA out of a short list of candidates, but in order to become the chair of the EBA, he need to be approved by the European Parliament.
Who is Jose Manuel Campa?
He is an economist, currently head of regulatory affairs at Banco Santander, group he has joined in 2014. He currently serves in the Expert Group, chaired by Mr. Erkki Liikanen, evaluating policy recommendations on structural reforms for the European Banking industry.Prior to that he was a professor of Finance at the IESE in Spain. He has also previously served, between 2009 and 2011, as Secretary of State for the Economy in the Ministry of Economy and Finances of Spain. Mr Campa has also been a consultant to a large number of international organizations (e.g. IMF, BIS).
What is the appointment procedure for this role?
The appointment of the chairperson of the EBA is foreseen in article 48 of the Regulation establishing the EBA. “The Chairperson shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors … following an open selection procedure. Before taking up his duties, … the European Parliament may, after having heard the candidate selected by the Board of Supervisors, object to the designation of the selected person.”
The hearing in the European Parliament
On Tuesday, Jose Manuel Campa, was heard by the European Parliament Economic and Monetary affairs committee (ECON). It was a short and rather uncontroversial hearing, which took place before the vote.
As expected all MEPs who took the floor questioned him on the possible conflict of interestbetween his current position as chief lobbyist for Santander and the EBA chairmanship.
He answered very clearly to all questions related to this matter. He assured MEPs he would be careful and transparent on this dealing with his previous employer and will remain accountable to the EP on this point as he is in any case accountable to the European Parliament which has the power to remove him from office.
Answering a few questions linked to his future position he mentioned that proportionality should be driving the work of the EBA and that he will work on strengthening the stress tests.
What are the next steps:
A vote the European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg will most probably take place in the week of 25thMarch. After this the date of his entry in office still remains to be set.
Interestingly after the vote approving his appointment and those of Philip Lane at the ECB and Sebastiano Laviola at the Single Resolution Board (SRB) some MEPs voiced their concerns at the visible lack of gender balance in those appointments. So future appointments of male candidates might have a tougher ride through the European Parliament. Those who had witnessed it in the past with the appointment of Yves Mersch at the ECB might remember…
By Aurélie CASSOU, ABBL & ALFI Senior Adviser, European Affairs