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We contribute to keeping the banking system in Europe safe and sound.

European banking supervisors contribute to keeping the banking system safe and sound. We do this so that you can rest assured that banks can weather a crisis.

Consistent and standardised supervision throughout the euro area helps keep your money safe and ensures that banks can perform their vital functions and grant loans to people and firms.

We are European banking supervision

European banking supervision comprises the ECB and national supervisors of the participating countries. After the financial crisis, the need to more effectively supervise banks became more pressing. European banking supervision, which started in 2014, was created to address this. It is one of the two pillars of the EU Banking Union.

Find out more about European banking supervision

We supervise the largest banks in participating countries

We directly supervise the largest banks of the participating countries. To do this, we work closely together with the national supervisors. They also supervise the smaller banks in their respective countries.

Find out more about the banks we supervise

We can sanction banks if they don’t comply

We take various actions to ensure compliance with rules and regulations. We can require banks to hold more capital, we can sanction them if they break the rules and we can grant and withdraw banking licences. This makes our supervision effective.

Find out more about our tasks

We ensure that supervision is consistent

New insights and regular quality checks help us to constantly improve our processes. This makes our practices more efficient. It also helps us to further harmonise supervision of all banks in participating countries.

Find out more about our approach

We are accountable to European citizens

Supervising banks is a great responsibility. To fulfil this task, we need to be independent in our decision-making. But that does not mean that we can do whatever we want. We are fully accountable to the European Parliament and the EU Council and regularly report on our decisions.

Find out more about our accountability

History of European banking supervision

The ECB’s banking supervision arm started operations in 2014. Find out more about the key milestones – from the initial proposal to the latest developments.

Banking supervision milestones

Discover more about European banking supervision


We take numerous decisions that are binding for banks. Decisions are prepared by the Supervisory Board and adopted by the ECB’s Governing Council.

Legal framework

We work within a clearly defined legal and policy framework. This framework sets out what we can do, what we can expect from banks under our supervision and what they can expect from us.

Legal Framework
Banking union

European banking supervision is one of the two pillars of the banking union that was set up after the financial crisis of 2008. The banking union aims to create a more transparent, unified and safer market for banks.

Find out more

European banking supervision explained

What is the Single Supervisory Mechanism? How does it work and what do we do? Find out more in this three-minute introductory video.

Contact us

Do you have any questions about European banking supervision and what we do? Find answers to the most popular questions or send us your own.


Learn more about what we do

Supervision. Explained.

To read more about what we do, check out our explainers. They explain key topics to help you understand banking supervision better.

Supervision. Explained.

Take part in our youth initiatives

The decisions we take can have an impact on your day-to-day life. We organise events around Europe to engage with young people directly and to hear your views and ideas.

Check out our latest initiatives
European banking supervision at a glance

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