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Why is the ECB so much murkier than the Fed?

Andrea Enria must open up the European Central Bank’s (ECB) bank data and supervision to scrutiny, but he faces resistance, and not just from banks.


Two issues stood out during Andrea Enria’s hearing at the European Parliament in November, when he successfully defended his candidacy to lead the eurozone’s bank supervisor.

One was the need for stronger action to level Europe’s non-performing loan (NPL) mountain – no surprises there. But Enria seemed just as passionate, too, about the need for greater transparency at what is perhaps the world’s most powerful bank supervisor.

This ambition for greater transparency is something the ECB officially confirmed in February, in a statement on Enria’s priorities in his new job.


The ECB's Andrea Enria: 'I found myself sometimes in a minority on my own board at the EBA'

Enria is only the second head of the ECB’s Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), set up in 2014. Strengthening the institution is therefore still the biggest task. Making its workings and data less opaque is vital.

However, this will be hard, not just due to the sheer complexity of modern bank regulation, but also due to the ECB and SSM’s own governance: dominated by national authorities, with primarily national rather than European interests.

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