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Policy Contribution

The governance and ownership of significant euro-area banks

This Policy Contribution shows that listed banks with dispersed ownership are the exception rather than the rule among the euro area’s significant banks, especially beyond the very largest banking groups. The bulk of these significant banks are government-owned or cooperatives, or influenced by large shareholders, or prone to direct political influence.

By: Date: May 30, 2017 Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

The banking crisis in the euro area, which started in mid-2007 and has yet to be fully resolved, has sparked considerable debate and reform, most notably the initiation of banking union starting in mid-2012. But one issue that has been largely overlooked in the debate is the peculiar ownership and governance structures of euro-area banks. European policymakers and analysts often appear to assume that most banks are publicly listed companies with ownership scattered among many institutional investors (‘dispersed ownership’), a structure in which no single shareholder has a controlling influence and that allows for considerable flexibility to raise capital when needed (‘capital flexibility’).

This Policy Contribution shows, however, that listed banks with dispersed ownership are the exception rather than the rule among the euro area’s significant banks , especially if one looks beyond the very largest banking groups.

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External Publication

European Parliament

Sovereign Concentration Charges: A New Regime for Banks’ Sovereign Exposures

Europe’s banking union has been central to the resolution of the euro-area crisis. It has had an encouraging start but remains unfinished business. If it remains in its current halfway-house condition, it may eventually move backwards and fail. EU leaders should seize these opportunities

By: Nicolas Véron Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance, European Parliament Date: November 17, 2017
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Upcoming Event

Dec
6
12:00

Zombie firms and weak productivity: what role for policy?

At this event, we will have the chance to discuss the final findings of OECD's project on Exit Policies and Productivity Growth, which started at the end of 2015.

Speakers: Carlo Altomonte, Christian Kastrop and Reinhilde Veugelers Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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The Eurosystem gets a lot of attention from academics and the media, but they largely focus on its statutory objective of maintaining price stability. There is much less interest in its transparency and operational efficiency. We analyse these issues, and find that the Eurosystem is less transparent and operates with significantly higher costs and headcount than the US Federal Reserve System.

By: Francesco Papadia and Alexander Roth Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 6, 2017
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Blog Post

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By: Marek Dabrowski Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: November 2, 2017
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Policy Brief

The time is right for a European Monetary Fund

Two of the banking union’s pillars – common European supervision by the European Central Bank and common European resolution by the Single Resolution Fund – are up and running. But the third, common European deposit insurance, is still missing. The authors propose to design the EMF as part of a broader risk-sharing and market-discipline agenda.

By: André Sapir and Dirk Schoenmaker Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 30, 2017
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Policy Contribution

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By: Pia Hüttl and David Pichler Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 10, 2017
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As tensions rise around Catalonia's independence movement, there are worries about the impact on the Spanish banking sector. Banks based in Catalonia account for around 14% of total assets. Some major institutions are already moving their headquarters to other parts of Spain. However, most Spanish banks have significant exposure to the Catalan market, and all could be caught up in the turmoil.

By: Yana Myachenkova Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance Date: October 6, 2017
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