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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

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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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Foreword VII

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VII Foreword Since the Treaty of Lisbon came into force in 2009, extensive amendments to the Treaty have been made to reform many areas of European law, empowering the European Commission and the European Parliament to implement orders for EU legislative acts. At the same time, the economic impact of the credit crisis and the threat of sovereign default of EU member states have demonstrated the pressing need for a debate on principles about the institutional design of an inte- grated financial area in Europe. In this respect, political and academic discus- sions have centered either on the up- and downsides of a European policy-driven versus a market-driven integration process, or on the territorial distribution of political powers and competencies between the EU- and the member state level. This book is a valuable contribution to the academic discussion about the role of regulation in facilitating the creation of a single financial market in Eu- rope in general, and the banking market in particular. The author presents a comprehensive analysis of different regulation theories and explains why tradi- tional approaches fall short in justifying regulatory intervention by the EU to create a single market. The conceptual framework developed in this book pro- vides theoretical insights into the interconnection of the functional and the terri- torial dimensions of regulation research and into methods to ex-ante evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of regulatory measures in a structured way. Mat- thäus Sielecki illustrates the practical application of this framework to the Euro- pean...

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