The Single Supervisory Mechanism celebrates its first anniversary

SSM started work on November 4, 2014 when it was entrusted with overseeing 123 banking groups within the eurozone

The SSM operates under the helm of the ECB in Frankfurt

The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), Europe’s banking watchdog, officially started its work last November. Setting up the SSM has been “a huge achievement. It has worked very well,” cep’s financial market expert Bert Van Roosebeke told AFP. “The importance of the SSM is enormous. There isn't a bigger banking supervisor anywhere else in the world,” the economist said.

The SSM is placed under the ECB's umbrella. Yet, by having the ECB in charge of both monetary policy and banking supervision, there were concerns that its policy decisions could be distorted by the perceived needs of banks. cep's Van Roosebeke conceded the set-up is not ideal. “But it was the best solution, given the speed with which it had to be set up,” he said in his interview with AFP. Taking the SSM out of the ECB altogether and turning it into a legally separate body would require a change in EU treaties and would have to be voted unanimously by all member states, he noted.