The European Court of Auditors has called on the Union’s legislators to intervene and ensure the European Central Bank allows full access to documents for audits related to banking supervision. In a letter to the European Parliament, the auditors express concern that the ECB’s current position regarding access to documents and information prevents them from carrying out their work properly. Banking supervision entails significant risks to the public purse, say the auditors, but they will not be in a position to carry out a proper audit of these activities unless the ECB adjusts its stance regarding access rights.
The auditors say that there has been a lack of progress in their discussions with the ECB. They call on the European Parliament and the Council to express full support for their rights to access banking supervision documents and, if considered necessary, to amend the current regulations, clarifying that they can access any documents they consider necessary.
“We are not seeking to audit monetary policy,” said Klaus-Heiner Lehne, the President of the European Court of Auditors. “But it is essential that we have full powers to audit the ECB’s supervisory activities. This is particularly important given the high risks to public funds from banking failures and the complexity of the new supervisory mechanisms.”