The candidate to preside over European Banking Authority (EBA, for its acronym in English), José Manuel Campa, guaranteed on Tuesday in the European Parliament its "independence at the head of the institution "despite his current position as deputy general director at Banco Santander. Campa -who was asked about his relationship with the entity by the PP, the Socialists and the Greens-, outlined in parliamentary committee the immediate challenges of his next term of office, five years: the Brexit, the rise of new technologies in the sector financial and consumer protection.
Campa delivered a brief speech on Tuesday before submitting to the questions of the main groups in the Committee of Economic and Monetary Affairs of the European Parliament. The current Santander director passed the first test, in the absence of his appointment is endorsed by the full Parliament. In his presentation, Campa defended the role of the EBA to ensure the sanitation of the banking sector, among other instruments, with the endurance tests. In addition, the main short-term challenge was the Brexit, which, initially, already involves the transfer of the institution from London to Paris.
Despite receiving the green light from the parliamentary committee, Campa had to face the questions of the deputies about their current links with Santander Bank and the conflicts of interest that can result from crossing that door between the financial industry and the banario regulator. The deputy from Los Verdes, Ernest Urtasun (ICV), asked him directly if he is still employed by the financial institution and asked him if it would not have been better to have left his post before launching his candidacy. "Campa is not just a banker, his position in Santander, where he is currently on the payroll, is the global head of regulatory affairs. You are paid to make lobbyist to the regulators, "Urtasun said after the commission.
Campa replied: "Yes, I'm still employed." He considered that "probably" it would have been better to have left the job before opting for the EBA candidacy, but he justified that he had to take into account his "working life" and that access to the presidency of the institution entailed risks. "It was a possibility [dejar su cargo actual], but not provided, "he added. Campa He also maintained that his attitude towards the entity in which he works would not have changed if he had left the job and assured that he will be "independent" at the EBA.
"Zero tolerance" with fraudulent products
The aspirant to preside over the regulator also answered the same questions from the German deputy of the PP, Marcus Feber, and the French Socialist Pervenche Berès. Campa explained that, in addition to working in the banking sector, in the past he was a university student – he was a professor at Iese – and an official – the Ministry of the Economy Elena Salgado– "I will be fair and balanced with all the actors, whether large or small banks," he said.
The former secretary of state also said there will be "zero tolerance" regarding fraudulent product sales. For this, he explained that there must be "adequate information", a "prior" and correct evaluation of contracts and "transparency". "We must make sure that the product is sold to the right customer," he added.
The candidacy of Campa was finally approved by 35 votes in favor, eight abstentions and six against, although the appointment must go through the European Parliament. The Greens voted against. Not only because they consider that he is not the ideal candidate, but also because in the new wave of changes at the top of the financial institutions (the chief economist of the ECB or the president of the MUS have changed) there is no woman. In the General Council of European Central BankFor example, there are 29 men and only one woman.