Michel Tison

Who’s Afraid of Peter Paul? The European Court of Justice to Rule on Banking Supervisory Liability.

WP 2004-11

For many years, courts in various EU Member States have been confronted to liability claims directed against banking supervisors for alleged negligence in exercising prudential supervision over banks. In view of the increasing "Europeanization" of banking supervision, it is not surprising that depositors attempt to circumvent limitations of liability under domestic law, by invoking "Francovich-type" Member State liability for negligent supervision. In case C-222/02 (Peter Paul and others), the German supreme court has referred the issue to the ECJ, in order to ascertain whether Francovich-liability could be applied in the field of prudential supervision. The opinion of Advocategeneral Stix-Hackl in this case is negative. In this paper, we analyse the arguments set forth by the advocate general to sustain this conclusion, and formulate a few critical remarks in the opinion.