21 November 2018

Krautscheid: We need more EU single market, not less

  • 2019 European elections: German private banks set out their positions
  • Basel IV, sustainable finance and digitalisation challenging

The German private banks believe the European Union should push ahead more decisively with the single market for financial services after the elections in May 2019. “Europe is our home market, both economically and politically. So we need more and a better Europe, not a relapse into walled-off national markets,” said Andreas Krautscheid, Chief Executive of the Association of German Banks, in Brussels. Far too often, providing business finance and selling retail financial products still came to a halt at national borders.

“The EU faces major challenges in the next legislative term – especially when it comes to plans for the financial sector,” Krautscheid added. A key project would be the EU implementation of the prudential standards for banks adopted at Basel level – or Basel IV for short. “It is particularly important here that policymakers take account of the special features of European banks,” Krautscheid stressed. The private banks saw a need for action on digitalisation, too. Its momentum could only be exploited for cross-border business if a uniform legal framework was established across Europe. The Association of German Banks also underlined the importance of sustainable finance: the financial sector could make an even more significant contribution to the fight against climate change if financial flows were channelled accordingly. Krautscheid: “The market dynamics in the sustainable finance sector are already strong.”

It was gratifying to note that the mood in Germany towards the EU is predominantly positive. Krautscheid: “The European Parliament, in particular, has the backing of German citizens.” In a recent representative survey, 60 per cent of Germans said that it made an important or even very important contribution to European politics.

Ahead of the 2019 European elections, the Association of German Banks has set out eight areas for action by European policymakers in a publication entitled “Moving Europe forward – a strong single market for citizens, businesses and banks”. These positions can be found online at.

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