Towards Deeper Financial Integration in Europe: What the Banking Union Can Contribute
IWH Discussion Papers,
The agreement to establish a Single Supervisory Mechanism in Europe is a major step towards a Banking Union, consisting of centralized powers for the supervision of banks, the restructuring and resolution of distressed banks, and a common deposit insurance system. In this paper, we argue that the Banking Union is a necessary complement to the common currency and the Internal Market for capital. However, due care needs to be taken that steps towards a Banking Union are taken in the right sequence and that liability and control remain at the same level throughout. The following elements are important. First, establishing a Single Supervisory Mechanism under the roof of the ECB and within the framework of the current EU treaties does not ensure a sufficient degree of independence of supervision and monetary policy. Second, a European institution for the restructuring and resolution of banks should be established and equipped with sufficient powers. Third, a fiscal backstop for bank restructuring is needed. The ESM can play a role but additional fiscal burden sharing agreements are needed. Direct recapitalization of banks through the ESM should not be possible until legacy assets on banks’ balance sheets have been cleaned up. Fourth, introducing European-wide deposit insurance in the current situation would entail the mutualisation of legacy assets, thus contributing to moral hazard.
Granularity in Banking and Growth: Does Financial Openness Matter?
We explore the impact of large banks and of financial openness for aggregate growth. Large banks matter because of granular effects: if markets are very concentrated in terms of the size distribution of banks, idiosyncratic shocks at the bank-level do not cancel out in the aggregate but can affect macroeconomic outcomes. Financial openness may affect GDP growth in and of itself, and it may also influence concentration in banking and thus the impact of bank-specific shocks for the aggregate economy. To test these relationships, we use different measures of de jure and de facto financial openness in a linked micro-macro panel dataset. Our research has three main findings: First, bank-level shocks significantly impact on GDP. Second, financial openness lowers GDP growth. Third, granular effects tend to be stronger in financially closed economies.