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State Aid

State Aid: The Authority adapts crisis rules for banks



The EFTA Surveillance Authority has adapted its temporary state aid rules for assessing public support to financial institutions. According to the new guidelines, a bank needs to work out a restructuring plan, including a capital raising plan, demonstrating convincingly how it will become profitable in the long term, before it can receive state aid. If the viability of the bank cannot be restored, an orderly winding down plan needs to be submitted instead.

Thus, the 2013 Banking Guidelines adopted today introduces more discipline to the granting of state aid to banks as temporary rescue aid will in principle no longer be authorised.

Since the beginning of the financial crisis, the Authority has adopted five sets of temporary Guidelines – listed below – addressing specifically state aid measures to banks in different forms. The financial crisis guidelines were then extended twice, for 2011 and 2012. 

The 2013 Banking Guidelines replace the 2008 Banking Guidelines.

They adapt and complement the Recapitalisation and Impaired Assets Guidelines as well as providing further guidance on how to assess the compatibility of liquidity support under state aid rules.

Finally, the guidelines supplement the Restructuring Guidelines by providing more detailed guidance on the required burden-sharing by the shareholders and subordinated creditors of banks receiving state aid.

The new guidelines will soon be available on the Authority┬┤s website at:

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Andreas Kjeldsberg Pihl
Press & Information Officer
tel. (+32)(0)2 286 18 66

mob. (+32)(0)492 900 187

The temporary financial crisis guidelines previously adopted by the Authority consist of the following:

  1. The application of state aid rules to measures taken in relation to financial institutions (“the 2008 Banking Guidelines”);
  2. The recapitalisation of financial institutions in the current financial crisis (“the Recapitalisation Guidelines”);
  3. The temporary framework for state aid measures to support access to finance in the current financial and economic crisis (“the Temporary Framework Guidelines”);
  4. The treatment of impaired assets in the EEA banking sector (“the Impaired Assets Guidelines”);
  5. The return to viability and the assessment of restructuring measures in the financial sector in the current crisis under the state aid rules (“the Restructuring Guidelines”).


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