External Publication

The Banking Union: An Overview and Open Issues

Dirk Schoenmaker's chapter in 'The Palgrave Handbook of European Banking', a handbook that collates the expertise and research of leading academic and senior policy makers in the field of European banking

By: Date: May 2, 2017 Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation

This paper was published as chapter 17 of The Palgrave Handbook of European Banking.

The move to European Banking Union involving the supervision and resolution of banks at euro-area level was stimulated by the sovereign debt crisis in the euro area in 2012. However, the long-term objective of Banking Union is dealing with intensified cross-border banking.

The share of the assets of national banking systems that come from other EU countries was rising before the financial and economic crisis of 2007, but went into decline thereafter in the context of a general retrenchment of international banking. Most recent data, however, suggests the decline has been halted.

While a crisis-prevention framework for the euro area has largely been completed, the crisis-management framework remains incomplete, potentially creating instability. Most importantly, risk-sharing mechanisms do not adequately address the sovereign-bank loop, with a lack of clarity about the divide between bail-in and bail-out. To complete Banking Union, the lender-of-last-resort and deposit insurance functions should move to the euro-area level.

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Past Event

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Several euro area leaders, including the German chancellor, her finance minister, and the French president, have recently referred to the need to “complete the banking union.”. These public calls echo those made in more formal settings, and inevitably raise the question of what criteria should be used to assess the banking union’s completeness.

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Since the financial crisis, EU countries' economies have recovered to the point that they are exiting their adjustment programmes. Institutional stability mechanisms have been improved at the European level, with the promotion of the banking union and the establishment of a European Monetary Fund, for instance. However, the authors argue that such crisis contingencies should include markets in their risk-sharing, which would require better coordination with institutions.

By: Maria Demertzis and Stavros Zenios Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: April 26, 2018
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By: Silvia Merler Topic: Finance & Financial Regulation Date: April 9, 2018
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