EU Auditors Up Ante in Fight With ECB Over Document Access

(Bloomberg) -- The European Union’s auditing arm doubled down in its fight with the European Central Bank over access to documents, calling on lawmakers in Brussels to intervene.

“We are not seeking to audit monetary policy,” Klaus-Heiner Lehne, the president of the European Court of Auditors, said in a statement. Given the risks to public funds posed by potential bank failures, however, it’s “essential that we have full powers to audit the ECB’s supervisory activities,” he said.

The auditors cited three occasions on which the ECB denied access to crucial documents. The ECA asked the European Parliament and EU member states to take its side in the conflict with the ECB, and to change the rules if necessary to make clear that the auditors can obtain any documents they deem necessary.

An ECB spokesperson said the central bank’s oversight arm is “open to cooperate on the issues raised, and stands ready to continue to engage with the European Court of Auditors.”

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.