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CJEU Case C-686/18 / Judgment

OC e.a. and Others v Banca d'Italia and Others

Deciding Body type:
Court of Justice of the European Union
Deciding Body:
Court (First Chamber)
Type:
Decision
Decision date:
16/07/2020

Key facts of the case:

Reference for a preliminary ruling — Admissibility — Article 63 et seq. TFEU — Free movement of capital — Article 107 et seq. TFEU — State aid — Articles 16 and 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union — Freedom to conduct a business — Right to property — Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 — Prudential requirements applicable to credit institutions and investment firms — Article 29 — Regulation (EU) No 1024/2013 — Article 6(4) — Prudential supervision of credit institutions — Conferral of specific tasks on the European Central Bank (ECB) — Delegated Regulation (EU) No 241/2014 — Regulatory technical standards for Own Funds requirements for institutions — National regulation imposing an asset threshold on people’s banks established as cooperative societies and allowing the right to redeem shares by the withdrawing shareholder to be limited.

Outcome of the case:

On those grounds, the Court (First Chamber) hereby rules:

  1. Article 29 of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms and amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012, Article 10 of Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 241/2014 of 7 January 2014 supplementing Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 with regard to regulatory technical standards for Own Funds requirements for institutions and Articles 16 and 17 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State which prohibits people’s banks established in that Member State from refusing the redemption of capital instruments but which allows those banks to defer, for an unlimited period, the redemption of the shares held by the withdrawing shareholder and to limit the amount to be redeemed in full or in part, provided that the limitations on redemption imposed when exercising that option do not go beyond what is necessary, in the light of the prudential situation of the banks concerned, in order to ensure that the capital instruments they issue qualify as Common Equity Tier 1 instruments, having regard, in particular, to the matters referred to in Article 10(3) of Delegated Regulation No 241/2014, which is a matter for the referring court to ascertain.
  2. Article 63 et seq. TFEU must be interpreted as not precluding legislation of a Member State that sets an asset threshold on the exercise of banking activities by people’s banks established in that Member State as limited liability cooperative societies above which those banks must be converted into companies limited by shares, reduce their assets to below that threshold or be liquidated, provided that that legislation is appropriate for securing attainment of the general interest objectives pursued and does not exceed what is necessary to attain them, which is a matter for the referring court to ascertain.