Frequently asked questions
...on the calculation of the supervisory fee and the fee debtor contact details
- How do I nominate the fee debtor?
All fee-paying institutions that are part of a supervised group nominate a single entity to act as the fee debtor on behalf of the whole group. This is done by sending the ECB a signed notification by regular post. The closing date for submitting a new fee debtor nomination is 1 July each year, in order for the nomination to be taken into account when issuing the fee notice regarding the following fee period.
- How can I provide our fee debtor contact details?
The annual deadline for updating fee debtor details is 1 July. Fee debtors who have previously provided their contact details are only obliged to provide an update if there are any changes. Please read the data protection statement.
Please only provide contact details via the ECB’s online portal. If you have not yet received your user ID and password, or you wish to change the name of the fee debtor, please contact the fees team, preferably by email at SSMemail@example.com.
- My banking group structure has changed since I submitted my fee debtor notification form. What should I do?
If your group includes a new subsidiary which was not listed on the fee debtor notification form you originally provided, you can notify the ECB by submitting one of the following forms:
- A new fee debtor notification form covering all the supervised entities in the group
- The simplified fee debtor notification form which serves as an update to the originally provided form and contains the new subsidiary’s written consent to the appointment of the previously nominated fee debtor
- Do I need to report any change in my bank’s situation, for instance mergers, absorption or de-authorisation? What should I do if a change is not reflected in the supervisory fee notice I have received?
A change in your situation may have an impact on the calculation of the annual supervisory fee. Please notify the fees team via email about any changes in your bank’s situation. They will get back to you with information on how to proceed in your particular case.
- We are a newly authorised standalone credit institution. How should we proceed with regard to the ECB supervisory fees?
A newly authorised bank that is located in a participating country and does not form part of an existing supervised group must pay the annual supervisory fee. The amount is calculated based on the number of full months for which the bank has been supervised in the fee period.
Please provide the ECB with the contact details of the person or department responsible – in particular their email address – and the ECB will inform you about the next steps.
- The supervisory status of my bank changed from less significant to significant following an acquisition by a significant banking group. Will that affect my supervisory fee?
If your bank was a stand-alone, less significant bank prior to the acquisition by a significant supervised group, there could be an impact on your supervisory fee. Where, following an ECB decision to such effect, the status of a supervised entity changes from less significant to significant, the annual supervisory fee will be calculated on the basis of the number of months for which the supervised entity was less significant at the last day of the month (Article 7(2) of the ECB Regulation on supervisory fees). If the amount of the annual supervisory fee levied deviates from the amount of the fee calculated on the basis of the above, a refund to the fee debtor will be paid, or an additional invoice will be issued by the ECB to be paid by the fee debtor.
The fee calculation is performed at the highest level of consolidation within participating Member States. Therefore, when credit institutions are part of a supervised group established in the participating Member States, one fee is calculated and levied at group level.
Please notify the fees team via email about any changes in your bank’s situation. They will assess your case and get back to you with information on how to proceed in your particular case.
...on how to submit fee factors
- Who has to submit the fee factors?
All banks at highest level of consolidation supervised by the ECB at the reference date of 31 December of the preceding year are obliged to provide data regarding the fee factors to support the calculation of the annual supervisory fees.
The ECB is responsible for the effective and consistent functioning of the Single Supervisory Mechanism in its entirety, i.e. for both the significant banks that it directly supervises and the less significant banks that it indirectly supervises. All supervised banks are therefore obliged to pay.
- When should I submit data regarding the fee factors and to whom?
Fee debtors must submit the information on the fee factors to national supervisory authorities using the templates contained in the annexes to the ECB Decision on fee factors.
The fee factors should be submitted by close of business on 1 July of the current year, or the next business day if 1 July is not a business day, with a reference date of 31 December of the preceding year. The fee notices will be issued in the last quarter of the year.
- How should I submit the fee factors?
The fee factors should be submitted to the national supervisory authorities using the templates in the annexes to the ECB Decision on fee factors. These templates should be completed in accordance with the instructions provided, which also includes information on audit certification and when it is required.
- Must a supervised group exclude the assets of subsidiaries established in non-participating countries and countries outside the EU?
No, although the Regulation on supervisory fees does provide the option to exclude assets of subsidiaries located in non-participating countries and countries outside the EU. This option is there for the benefit of the supervised groups affected, as it lowers the annual supervisory fees that they would otherwise have to pay. However, if the burden of calculation is greater than the expected reduction in annual supervisory fees, it is more efficient for the supervised group to include such assets.
- Are the annual supervisory fees levied on all branches established in participating countries?
No. Annual supervisory fees are only levied on branches established in a participating Member State by a parent bank established in a non-participating Member State. For example, an EU branch in a participating Member State (e.g. Germany) will have to pay the supervisory fee to the ECB if its parent bank is established in a non-participating Member State. The parent bank may be subject to supervision by the relevant supervisory authority (e.g. in the United Kingdom), and may consequently be charged by this authority. This requirement is independent of the requirement for the EU branch to pay a supervisory fee to the ECB.
In this context, please bear in mind the following:
- Two or more fee-paying branches established by the same credit institution in a single participating Member State are deemed to be one branch.
- Fee-paying branches of the same credit institution established in different participating Member States (e.g. Belgium and Germany) are not deemed to be one branch.
- For a branch and a subsidiary in the same participating Member State, two different supervisory fees will be levied.
- At what level of consolidation should supervised groups report the fee factors?
Supervised groups operating in one or more participating countries must submit only one return, using the highest level of consolidation across those participating countries. One single supervisory fee will be calculated.
- What happens if I don't submit the fee factors in time?
If the fee debtor fails to provide the fee factors, the ECB will determine the missing fee factors itself based on available information. Not providing fee factors is considered a breach of the ECB Regulation on supervisory fees and may trigger sanctions.
- How can I resubmit the values of my fee factors during the comments period?
You can resubmit your fee factors data (total risk exposure/total assets) during the five-day comment period via the same means as the original submission. The new value of the fee factors will have to be provided to the national competent authority so it can assess the quality of the data before forwarding the fee factors to the ECB.
- What is the ECB Decision on fee factors about?
The ECB Decision on fee factors sets out the methodology and procedures for calculating the two fee factors, i.e. the total risk exposure and the fee debtor’s total assets.
- Are branches that are established in participating Member States by credit institutions established in European Economic Area (EEA) countries that are not EU Member States obliged to submit fee factors?
Yes. Branches that are established in participating Member States by credit institutions established in countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) that are not EU Member States, namely Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland, are supervised by the ECB (indirectly in the case of less significant institutions). Depending on their significance, the direct supervision of these branches is conducted either by the ECB, or by the national competent authority. Thus, they are obliged to report fee factors to the ECB, which will be used to determine their annual supervisory fee.
- My bank merged with another bank on 1 January 2017. Do I need to submit fee factors with reference date 31 December 2016?
No, you are not obliged to submit fee factors with a reference date of 31 December 2016. Fee debtors are required to submit to the national competent authority the fee factors with a reference date of 31 December of the preceding year in order for the annual supervisory fees to be calculated. The obligation to submit the fee factors is valid only for those fee debtors that exist in the fee period for which a supervisory fee has to be calculated, i.e. for at least a full month of the relevant fee period in accordance with Article. 7(1) of the Regulation on supervisory fees. Accordingly, a fee debtor which ceases to be a supervised entity on 1 January 2017 is not required to submit the fee factors to the national competent authority.
- Our fee-paying branch ceased its commercial activity and will be closed on 1 April 2017. Do we need to submit fee factors with reference date 31 December 2016?
Yes. In accordance with Article 7 of the Regulation on supervisory fees, whenever a supervised entity is supervised for only part of the fee period, the annual supervisory fee will be calculated by reference to the number of full months of the fee period for which the supervised entity is supervised. As a supervised entity within the 2017 fee period, the fee-paying branch continues to be obliged to submit fee factors with a reference date of 31 December 2016 in compliance with Article 10(4) of the Regulation on supervisory fees to facilitate the calculation of the supervisory fee payable. A supervisory fee will be determined for the period January to March 2017.
- Are fee-paying branches expected to provide statistical data when submitting their total assets?
Yes. The reported total assets should correspond to the amount of total assets stipulated in Article 51(5) of the SSM Framework Regulation, as stipulated in Article 7(2) of the ECB Decision on fee factors. Therefore, the branch of a credit institution which is established in a non-participating Member State should submit to the ECB total assets calculated on the basis of statistical data reported pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1071/2013.
- Is an auditor verification needed for fee-paying branches?
Yes. An auditor must certify the total assets of a fee-paying branch calculated on the basis of statistical data reported pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1071/2013 of the European Central Bank (ECB/2013/33). The external auditor must certify the total assets of the fee-paying branch by carrying out an appropriate verification of its financial accounts pursuant to Article 7(2)(c) of the ECB Decision on fee factors. This requirement may be satisfied by an auditor confirming the total assets based on agreed-upon procedures.
...on how to pay the supervisory fee
- Why have I not received a fee notice?
The ECB issues fee notices electronically via the ECB’s online portal to each fee debtor. The expected date of issuance is the last quarter of each fee period, i.e. of each calendar year. An automatic email notification about the upload of the related correspondence (fee notice, dunning or interest letters) is sent out to the email address you provided via the ECB’s online portal.
If you have not received the fee notice within this period, please contact the fees team by email.
- I am missing the payment details but have received a fee notice (a reminder letter or an interest letter)
The payment details are always stated on the second page of the respective document. If you require additional confirmation of the payment details, please contact the fees team via email.
- I need to know the ECB’s VAT number (a tax code) before I can pay the ECB supervisory fee
The supervisory fee is considered as a public charge under Article 13 of the VAT Directive (2006/112/EC), and is consequently VAT exempt. The ECB, as an EU institution, is not required to register for VAT or corporate income tax purposes and therefore does not have any tax identification number.
- I have received a notice to pay a supervisory fee to our national supervisory authority. How do we treat it?
The national supervisors play an important role in banking supervision within the Single Supervisory Mechanism.
However, their supervisory costs are not taken into account in the calculation of the supervisory fee paid to the ECB. This means that the national supervisory authorities maintain their right to levy fees in accordance with national law.
- I have received a fee notice from the Single Resolution Board. What should I do?
The ECB is only responsible for the Single Supervisory Mechanism (not the Single Resolution Mechanism). The ECB and the Single Resolution Board (SRB) are independent institutions. Any questions related to the SRB invoicing should be directed to your SRB contact point or to the national resolution authorities directly.
- Can I pay my supervisory fee by direct debit?
Yes. In fact the ECB’s recommended payment method is SEPA direct debit. Direct debit ensures that the fee is paid on time and, therefore, avoids possible interest charges for late payments. If you opt for this payment method, you can enter your bank details via the online portal and print out a direct debit mandate.
- What should I do if there is an error in the fee notice?
If there is a potential factual error in the fee notice, or for any other general queries, please contact the fees team.
This is without prejudice to the fee debtor’s right to submit an appeal against the fee notice to the Administrative Board of Review. All appeals must be submitted within one month of receipt of the fee notice.
The decisions taken by the ECB in the exercise of its supervisory tasks can also be challenged before the Court of Justice of the EU.
- What happens if I don’t pay within the deadline?
In the case of partial payment or non-payment of the fees, the ECB is entitled to accrue interest on a daily basis on the unpaid amount of the supervisory fee.
Interest is accrued at a rate of the ECB main refinancing rate plus 8 percentage points per annum from the date on which the payment was due until the date preceding the date on which the unpaid amount was credited to the ECB’s bank account.
...on technical issues regarding the online portal
- My password for the online portal does not work. What should I do?
You can reset your password by clicking on “Request new password” and entering your username and email address. Please send an email to the technical support team if you continue to encounter problems.
- I am having difficulties when viewing or editing information via the online portal. What should I do?
The online portal is only compatible with the following internet browsers: Internet Explorer (version 9 or later), Google Chrome and Firefox. If you continue to encounter technical problems despite using one of these browsers, please contact the technical support team by email.
- After entering the IBAN for a direct debit, I receive a message that my “bank does not exist”. What should I do?
Please send an email to the fees team containing a screenshot of the error and/or the relevant IBAN. The fees team will add the bank code to the ECB’s system and then ask you to re-enter the IBAN via the online portal.
- I have added more than one email address to the online portal. Are fee notifications sent to all of these email addresses?
No, fee notifications are only sent to the email address you selected as your “preferred” address. Please check the online portal and, if necessary, change your preferences. If you have not received a fee notification, please contact the fees team by email.
- I would like to use the online portal in my local language but it is only available in English
The ECB’s online portal is only available in English. You can display a manual after logging in to the online portal (in the bottom right corner of the screen). It provides you with a translation of all online portal screens into all euro area languages.
In addition, any time you are notified by email that a new document has been uploaded to the online portal, you are also provided with a link to a translation.
Furthermore, the translations of the fee notice template and the SEPA core direct debit form are published in all euro area languages on the ECB Banking Supervision website.
If you have any further queries, please contact the ECB’s fees team directly.