The EBA Chair has recently appeared before ECON to explain the EBA's approach to the development of RTS on strong customer authentication and secure communications under PSD2, and to answer concerns raised by the committee and others about these RTS.

The European Banking Authority (EBA) Chair, Andrea Enria, has recently appeared before the European Parliament's Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON). The purpose of the hearing was to enable the EBA to update ECON on its work to deliver the 11 mandates conferred under Payment Services Directive ((EU) 2015/2366) (PSD2) with the focus of the hearing's discussions being on the EBA's approach to developing Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) on strong customer authentication (SCA) and secure communications (SC).In his introductory statement to ECON, Mr Enria explained that, in developing the RTS, both the EBA and the European Central Bank (ECB) had to make difficult trade-offs between competing demands. He described the challenges faced by the EBA and ECB in this regard as "formidable".

The EBA published the draft RTS for consultation in August 2016. Mr Enria explained that since the consultation closed, the EBA has been assessing responses. To date, the EBA has identified approximately 260 distinct concerns and requests for clarifications. It intends to assess the strength of the arguments relating to each concern, with a view to deciding whether the correct trade-offs were made when developing the draft RTS for consultation. When it publishes and submits the final RTS to the European Commission in early 2017, the EBA intends to publish a very extensive feedback table, providing feedback to the responses received and making clear the EBA's assessment of whether or not each request has led it to amend the RTS.

However, Mr Enria also explained that a large number of the 260 requests related to PSD2 itself and how to interpret its provisions, rather than to the draft RTS. It was made clear that the EBA considers it was not for it to take a view on these issues and therefore the EBA is currently discussing with the Commission how best to communicate clarifications of this kind.

Of those concerns, which were focussed on the RTS, Mr Enria did briefly address the three concerns which ECON has previously raised:

  • The monetary thresholds proposed in the draft RTS.

  • The communication interface and direct access.

  • The exemptions to SCA.

However further detail on how the EBA proposes to address these concerns will be provided in the new year when the EBA intends to submit the final RTS. Interestingly the EBA expects to miss, by about a month, the original deadline of 13 January 2017, which is set out in PSD2. It considers that this is delay acceptable to ensure that the RTS are fit for purpose, support PSD2's objectives and ensure the EBA delivers its mandate.