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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 25 April 2013

Commission report underlines importance and urgency of financial sector reforms as a basis to restore long-term growth

The European Commission is publishing today the European Financial Stability and Integration Report (EFSIR), which is being presented at a joint conference with the European Central Bank (ECB) in Brussels. This event brings together policymakers, financial market leaders and academics for discussion on financial stability and integration in Europe.

Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier said "The policies analysed in this report are our best instruments to exit the crisis. Our reform agenda addresses the "too big to fail" question and is creating a more resilient and integrated European market in financial services. It is imperative that our financial sector is in a position to support the real economy and establish the basis for long-term growth”.

Overall, the report shows that despite improvements, the financial crisis continued to exert a significant impact in holding back economic growth in 2012.

More specifically, this year's report:

  • Shows that European proposals for the establishment of a banking union stem from the need to deepen economic and financial integration in Europe.

  • Covers the main policy initiatives that have been or are being implemented, adopted, presented, or developed in 2012.

  • Takes stock of the important debate initiated by governments, international organizations, and, ultimately, the general public to analyse the business models of the financial institutions; in particular, the desirability of adopting structural reforms in the banking sector.

  • Describes and takes stock of progress in regulating the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives markets.

  • Underscores the pivotal role the financial sector has in supporting the real economy and in providing jobs and growth for society, by examining the difficulties small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) experience in their access to funding.

Background

In 1999, a single financial market in which funds could flow and market participants could trade freely across EU borders was a distant dream. Since then significant developments have been achieved. European financial institutions and markets have become more interdependent. Market dynamics have forced further adjustments from regulators and supervisors. Old ways of organising financial regulation and supervision were called into question, and cross-border risk transmission channels intensified.

In this regard, the Commission recognised the need to regularly monitor developments in the EU financial sector. For this purpose, until 2009 it published the European Financial Integration Report. It reported on market and policy developments presenting indicators on financial integration, efficiency, stability and competitiveness.

The financial crisis has demonstrated the need for an additional focus on financial stability issues. Responding to these developments, a revamped “European Financial Stability and Integration Report” was established in 2010. EFSIR now also reports on new policy measures that are laying the basis and groundwork to continue developing a truly integrated European financial market.

For further information:

http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/economic_analysis/reports/index_en.htm

Contacts :

Chantal Hughes (+32 2 296 44 50)

Audrey Augier (+32 2 297 16 07)

Carmel Dunne (+32 2 299 88 94)


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