Verification of the financial information provided in ECB declaration of interests

Paul Schreiber made this acceso a documentos request to Banco Central Europeo

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La solicitud fue exitosa.

Dear European Central Bank,

In 2022, the ECB reviewed its Code of Conduct for High-Levels officials. It came into force on January 1st 2023 ( https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/... ).

The new Code of Conduct requires increased disclosures on the financial interests of high-level officials and restricts some investment possibilities, even though these requirements were not extended to the family of high-level officials.

The previous version of the Code dating back to 2019 already required disclosing the financial assets held. However, in the last reporting submitted on March 2022 several ECB Governing Council did not report any such assets, while others only reported a very limited number of them. If it is not impossible that some ECB Governing Council members do not hold any financial assets that fall under the scope of the declaration of interest, this is not likely and no information is provided by the ECB on the verification of this information.

Additionally, it is worth noting that the ECB does not provide means to contact the Ethics Committee that oversees the implementation of its Code of Conduct.

Providing the above elements, in the context of the implementation of the ECB's new Code of Conduct, and under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:
- The verification process for ECB governing council and high-level officials' declaration of interests, notably on the financial interests disclosed;
- Any document pertaining to such verification;
- A contact email - or any other means - for the ECB Ethics Committee.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Schreiber
Reclaim Finance

6 rue Braque, 75002, Paris, France

Access to documents,

Dear Mr Schreiber,

 

We acknowledge receipt of your email dated 1 February 2023. We will start
processing it once your previous received on 1 February 2023 is defined.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Compliance and Governance Office

DG Secretariat

European Central Bank

Sonnemannstrasse 20

60314 Frankfurt am Main

[1][email address]

 

Datenschutzerklärung: Sie haben einen Antrag auf Zugang zu Dokumenten
gestellt. Die Erfassung von Informationen zu Ihrer Person durch die EZB
dient ausschließlich dem Zweck der Bearbeitung Ihres Antrags gemäß dem
Beschluss EZB/2004/3. Alle personenbezogenen Daten werden gemäß den
EU-Datenschutzbestimmungen (Verordnung (EU) Nr. 2018/1725 des Europäischen
Parlaments und des Rates) verarbeitet. Die EZB ist die für die
Verarbeitung personenbezogener Daten verantwortliche Stelle. Empfänger der
Daten sind die Stabsstelle Compliance und Governance der EZB und – falls
erforderlich – andere Institutionen innerhalb des Europäischen Systems der
Zentralbanken und des Einheitlichen Aufsichtsmechanismus oder andere
EU-Organe.

Sie haben das Recht, die Verarbeitung der in Bezug auf Sie gespeicherten
personenbezogenen Daten einzuschränken, diese Daten einzusehen und zu
berichtigen und unter bestimmten Bedingungen ihre Löschung zu beantragen.
Wenn Sie Ihre Rechte geltend machen möchten, wenden Sie sich bitte an die
EZB-Stabsstelle für Compliance und Governance
([2][email address]) oder an den Datenschutzbeauftragten
der EZB ([3][email address]). Über die Website [4]www.edps.europa.eu
können Sie sich im Zusammenhang mit der Verarbeitung Ihrer
personenbezogenen Daten jederzeit an den Europäischen
Datenschutzbeauftragten ([5]www.edps.europa.eu) wenden.

 

 

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Access to documents,

Dear Mr Schreiber,

This is to inform you that after we had addressed and sent you the reply
to your first request, we have now started to process the below
application.

In accordance with Article 7(1) of [1]Decision ECB/2004/3 of the European
Central Bank, we will revert to you on the matter within 20 business days.

Yours sincerely,

Compliance and Governance Office

DG Secretariat

European Central Bank

Sonnemannstrasse 20

60314 Frankfurt am Main

[2][email address]

 

 

From: Access to documents <[3][email address]>
Sent: 03 February 2023 18:12
To: Paul Schreiber <[4][FOI #12532 email]>
Cc: Access to documents <[5][email address]>
Subject: Acknowledgment of receipt - Verification of the financial
information provided for declarations of interests

 

Dear Mr Schreiber,

 

We acknowledge receipt of your email dated 1 February 2023. We will start
processing it once your previous email received on 1 February 2023 is
defined.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Compliance and Governance Office

DG Secretariat

European Central Bank

Sonnemannstrasse 20

60314 Frankfurt am Main

[6][email address]

 

Datenschutzerklärung: Sie haben einen Antrag auf Zugang zu Dokumenten
gestellt. Die Erfassung von Informationen zu Ihrer Person durch die EZB
dient ausschließlich dem Zweck der Bearbeitung Ihres Antrags gemäß dem
Beschluss EZB/2004/3. Alle personenbezogenen Daten werden gemäß den
EU-Datenschutzbestimmungen (Verordnung (EU) Nr. 2018/1725 des Europäischen
Parlaments und des Rates) verarbeitet. Die EZB ist die für die
Verarbeitung personenbezogener Daten verantwortliche Stelle. Empfänger der
Daten sind die Stabsstelle Compliance und Governance der EZB und – falls
erforderlich – andere Institutionen innerhalb des Europäischen Systems der
Zentralbanken und des Einheitlichen Aufsichtsmechanismus oder andere
EU-Organe.

Sie haben das Recht, die Verarbeitung der in Bezug auf Sie gespeicherten
personenbezogenen Daten einzuschränken, diese Daten einzusehen und zu
berichtigen und unter bestimmten Bedingungen ihre Löschung zu beantragen.
Wenn Sie Ihre Rechte geltend machen möchten, wenden Sie sich bitte an die
EZB-Stabsstelle für Compliance und Governance
([7][email address]) oder an den Datenschutzbeauftragten
der EZB ([8][email address]). Über die Website [9]www.edps.europa.eu
können Sie sich im Zusammenhang mit der Verarbeitung Ihrer
personenbezogenen Daten jederzeit an den Europäischen
Datenschutzbeauftragten ([10]www.edps.europa.eu) wenden.

 

 

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Access to documents,

Dear Mr Schreiber,

Further to your email of 4 April 2023 requesting information regarding the
“implementation of the ECB's recently amended Code of Conduct for
high-level ECB officials (‘enhanced Single Code’): (i) the verification
process for ECB Governing Council and high-level officials' declaration of
interests, notably on the financial interests disclosed; (ii) any document
pertaining to such verification; and (iii) a contact email - or any other
means - for the ECB Ethics Committee”, I would like to provide you with
the following clarifications and explanations.

The [1]enhanced Single Code entered into force on 1 January 2023; thus
the new private financial transactions rules are applicable only as of
this date. The latest Declarations of Interests (as published [2]on the
ECB’s website on 5 April 2023) include the interests held by high-level
ECB officials up to the end of 2022 and their assessment by the Ethics
Committee was performed according to the rules in force prior to the
Single Code being amended. Therefore, there are currently no documents at
the ECB relating to the verification exercise under the [3]enhanced Single
Code. 

Notwithstanding the above, and with a view to being as helpful as
possible, I herewith outline the process for the assessment of the
Declarations of Interests of high-level ECB officials, which is not
expected to change significantly under the new regime.

Assessment process of Declarations of Interests

Step 1 - Submission

In early January of each year, the Chair of the Ethics Committee invites
the members of the ECB’s Governing Council and Supervisory Board, as well
as the members of the ECB’s Audit Committee, to submit their annual
Declaration of Interests by completing the ECB template for this
declaration. With the submission of their Declaration of Interests and
their signature, the high-level ECB officials confirm that the information
included therein is complete and correct. Nevertheless, these templates
include extra safeguards to ensure completeness and correctness.

Irrespective of the annual exercise, both incoming and outgoing members
are required to submit their Declaration of Interests during the year or,
for the latter, to reaffirm that their most recent Declaration of
Interests is still valid.

Step 2 – Review

The Ethics Committee reviews these Declarations of Interests to reaffirm
the members’ independence and to, inter alia, verify the absence of any
conflict of interest stemming from declared financial interests. If deemed
necessary, the Ethics Committee may request additional information or
documentation, or seek clarifications.

In performing its review, the Ethics Committee first verifies that all
Declarations of Interests have been duly received and then checks the
completeness of their content by comparing new submissions from each
member with those that were submitted by that member the year before and
cross-checking against specific, publicly available information.

As to the financial interests, the Ethics Committee checks to ensure that
any new financial asset acquired by a member is held in full compliance
with the ECB’s rules on private financial transactions. To date, this part
of the Ethics Committee’s assessment has been conducted pursuant to the
private financial transaction rules contained in the ECB’s [4]Ethics
Framework, with which, up to December 2022,  high-level ECB officials were
required to comply. From January 2024, this assessment exercise will be
conducted in accordance with the new Article 16 of the [5]enhanced Single
Code.

Step 3 - Conclusion - Outcome

Prior to the publication of these Declarations of Interest, the ECB’s
President, as well as all other high-level ECB officials who submitted
them, are informed about the outcome of the Ethics Committee’s annual
review.

Compliance monitoring

In addition to this annual review, the members of the ECB’s Executive
Board and the ECB members of the Supervisory Board, i.e. the Chair,
Vice-Chair and ECB Representatives to the Supervisory Board, are subject
to an annual compliance check of their private financial
transactions[6][1]. This compliance check serves as an extra safeguard to
ensure that the private financial transactions of the abovementioned
high-level ECB officials comply with the relevant rules and restrictions.
Each year, some of these high-level ECB officials are randomly selected
for this compliance check, which is conducted by an external audit firm on
behalf of the ECB’s Compliance & Governance Office.

Those members of the ECB’s Governing Council and Supervisory Board who are
not subject to the ECB’s compliance check (namely, the governors of the
national central banks and the representatives of the national supervisory
authorities) are subject to compliance monitoring processes in place at
their own institution in relation to their private financial transactions.
In order for the Ethics Committee to verify that such compliance
monitoring has taken place, each year these high-level officials are
required to submit to the Ethics Committee a signed confirmation that they
have complied with the applicable rules on private financial transactions
and that the compliance monitoring has been conducted in line with the
applicable national rules[7][2].

Finally, I would like to inform you that the Ethics Committee has been set
up as an internal ECB advisory body reporting to the Governing Council, in
accordance with Article 4(4) of [8]Decision (EU) 2015/433 of the European
Central Bank of 17 December 2014 concerning the establishment of an Ethics
Committee and its Rules of Procedure (Decision ECB/2014/59)[9][3], and as
such, does not directly communicate with the general public.

 

I hope the above information will be useful for you.

 

Yours sincerely,

Roman Schremser

Chief Compliance and Governance Officer

 

 

^1        From January 2024, this annual compliance check will be
conducted as laid down in Article 16.8 of the [10]enhanced Single Code and
Article 0.4.3 of the ECB’s [11]Ethics Framework.

^2        From January 2024, this annual compliance check will be
conducted as laid down in Article 16.9 of the [12]enhanced Single Code.

^3       OJ L 70, 14.3.2015, p. 58.

 

 

 

Compliance and Governance Office

DG Secretariat

European Central Bank

Sonnemannstrasse 20

60314 Frankfurt am Main

[13][email address]

 

From: Access to documents <[14][email address]>
Sent: 04 April 2023 10:12
To: Paul Schreiber <[15][FOI #12532 email]>
Cc: Access to documents <[16][email address]>
Subject: Acknowledgment of receipt - Access to documents request -
Verification of the financial information provided for declarations of
interests

 

Dear Mr Schreiber,

This is to inform you that after we had addressed and sent you the reply
to your first request, we have now started to process the below
application.

In accordance with Article 7(1) of [17]Decision ECB/2004/3 of the European
Central Bank, we will revert to you on the matter within 20 business days.

Yours sincerely,

Compliance and Governance Office

DG Secretariat

European Central Bank

Sonnemannstrasse 20

60314 Frankfurt am Main

[18][email address]

 

 

From: Access to documents <[19][email address]>
Sent: 03 February 2023 18:12
To: Paul Schreiber <[20][FOI #12532 email]>
Cc: Access to documents <[21][email address]>
Subject: Acknowledgment of receipt - Verification of the financial
information provided for declarations of interests

 

Dear Mr Schreiber,

 

We acknowledge receipt of your email dated 1 February 2023. We will start
processing it once your previous email received on 1 February 2023 is
defined.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Compliance and Governance Office

DG Secretariat

European Central Bank

Sonnemannstrasse 20

60314 Frankfurt am Main

[22][email address]

 

Datenschutzerklärung: Sie haben einen Antrag auf Zugang zu Dokumenten
gestellt. Die Erfassung von Informationen zu Ihrer Person durch die EZB
dient ausschließlich dem Zweck der Bearbeitung Ihres Antrags gemäß dem
Beschluss EZB/2004/3. Alle personenbezogenen Daten werden gemäß den
EU-Datenschutzbestimmungen (Verordnung (EU) Nr. 2018/1725 des Europäischen
Parlaments und des Rates) verarbeitet. Die EZB ist die für die
Verarbeitung personenbezogener Daten verantwortliche Stelle. Empfänger der
Daten sind die Stabsstelle Compliance und Governance der EZB und – falls
erforderlich – andere Institutionen innerhalb des Europäischen Systems der
Zentralbanken und des Einheitlichen Aufsichtsmechanismus oder andere
EU-Organe.

Sie haben das Recht, die Verarbeitung der in Bezug auf Sie gespeicherten
personenbezogenen Daten einzuschränken, diese Daten einzusehen und zu
berichtigen und unter bestimmten Bedingungen ihre Löschung zu beantragen.
Wenn Sie Ihre Rechte geltend machen möchten, wenden Sie sich bitte an die
EZB-Stabsstelle für Compliance und Governance
([23][email address]) oder an den Datenschutzbeauftragten
der EZB ([24][email address]). Über die Website [25]www.edps.europa.eu
können Sie sich im Zusammenhang mit der Verarbeitung Ihrer
personenbezogenen Daten jederzeit an den Europäischen
Datenschutzbeauftragten ([26]www.edps.europa.eu) wenden.

 

 

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