Position paper of the Association of German Banks on the role of banks in financing the European economy

19 February 2018

Role of banks in financing the European economy

The financing of the economy through banks has proved its worth and is already successfully linked with capital market funding.

Banks are a supporting pillar of the European economy: they perform a key function in financing businesses, thus supporting growth, trade and employment.

At the heart of European financial market policy, as fleshed out in the capital markets union project, is an overarching objective to strengthen the financing of businesses. Europe’s banking sector has a central role to play in achieving this goal. Member states come from very different starting points. In Germany, for instance, both bank-based and capital-market-based corporate financing function extremely well.

But the EU’s financial market policy risks draining the economy of funding power.

Lawmakers and regulators need to have a clear idea of how much banks can do to provide finance for businesses – even in a changing market environment – and what framework conditions are required to ensure they can operate in an optimal manner.

Our aim is to present a clear overview of the role of European banks. Banks perform an important, tried and tested intermediation function, especially by analysing and managing risks, not least when capital market funding is involved. This function should not be disrupted by separating banks from the capital markets.

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