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Creating and Governing an Integrated Market for Retail Banking Services in Europe

A Conceptual-Empirical Study of the Role of Regulation in Promoting a Single Euro Payments Area


Matthäus Markus Sielecki

The creation of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has accelerated the harmonization process of regulation and governance in Europe. However, the integration of fragmented retail banking markets still represents a difficult task for regulators. This book investigates the role of EU policy in creating a single market, addressing explicitly questions on the choice of policy measures to overcome barriers to integration persistent in these markets. Based on an analysis of different regulatory theories, the author develops a conceptual framework and illustrates its applicability to the case of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) initiative. The fact that a single market has not yet evolved is less a sign of market or coordination failures than of government failures. The author concludes that, despite the political resistance from national interest groups, regulatory barriers need to be removed first to provide a level playing field for banks and a safe legal environment for consumers.


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Design: Olaf Glöckler, Atelier Platen, Friedberg D 1540 ISSN 1869-537X ISBN 978-3-631-60834-0 © Peter Lang GmbH Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften Frankfurt am Main 2011 All rights reserved. All parts of this publication are protected by copyright. Any utilisation outside the strict limits of the copyright law, without the permission of the publisher, is forbidden and liable to prosecution. This applies in particular to reproductions, translations, microfilming, and storage and processing in electronic retrieval systems. Preface Regulation of banking markets is a large and exiting field of research that has increasingly gained importance with the creation of the single economic area and the introduction of the euro currency. Over the past decades, EU market regulation has enforced the political desire to make the integrated European market more tangible and beneficial for its more than 350 million citizens. From my work in a European bank, I experienced how much of the banking industry’s operations and business is affected by regulation: deposit protection rules, capi- tal requirements and credit regulation are only few to mention. While most of these policies aim to achieve greater stability in the banking sector and to mini- mize economic damage, new EU legislation has started to intervene directly in the industry’s sovereignty of setting prices for selective banking products and services. Studying the implementation process of an EU price-regulation on cross-border payments prompted me to look beyond the obvious motives of EU regulation from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Writing this thesis as...

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