E.U. – ECB Qualifying Holding Procedures

E.U. – ECB Qualifying Holding Procedures

On 28 September 2022, ECB consulted on guide to qualifying holding procedures.

  • ECB consulted on guide relating to how to assess buyers of qualifying stakes in banks.


  • A shareholder owning 10% or more of a given bank, or exercising significant influence over it, said to have qualifying holding; need ECB authorization to acquire qualifying holding or pass thresholds, e.g. 20%, 30% or 50% of a bank’s capital or voting rights.
  • Qualifying holding acquisitions typically triggered by mergers and acquisitions projects.

ECB Guide

  • The guide clarifies ECB supervisory practices for qualifying holding assessments.
  • Explains who is obliged to undergo qualifying holding assessments, documentation required to apply, and how ECB assesses transactions; gives information on complex acquisition structures, application of principle of proportionality, procedural elements.


  • Aims to increase transparency towards market participants in explaining what the ECB’s supervisory practice is when assessing the acquisition of qualifying holdings.
  • It builds on the legal framework and on experience assessing this type of transaction.
  • The guide will complement the ECB’s Guide on the supervisory approach to consolidation in the banking sector, as the two guides have a complementary focus.


  • Comments invited from banks, investors, and other stakeholders in bank acquisitions.
  • ECB will publish comments along with a feedback statement and the final guide.


  • The consultation period ends on 9 November 2022.