Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Europe's Single Market for Financial Services: Views by the European Shadow Regulatory Financial Committee

Benink, Harald A.
Volume: 1
Number: 2
Pages: 157 - 198
Month: December
ISSN-Print: 1572-3089
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2004
Keywords: European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee; Financial services; Single market

Although the world of banking and finance is becoming more integrated every day, in most aspects the world of financial regulation continues to be narrowly defined by national boundaries. The main players here are still national governments and governmental agencies. And until recently, they tended to follow a policy of shielding their activities from scrutiny by their peers and members of the academic community rather than inviting critical assessments and an exchange of ideas.

The turbulence in international financial markets in the 1980s, and its impact on US banks, gave rise to the notion that academics working in the field of banking and financial regulation might be in a position to make a contribution to the improvement of regulation in the United States, and thus ultimately to the stability of the entire financial sector. This provided the impetus for the creation of the “US Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee”. In the meantime, similar shadow committees have been founded in Europe, Japan and Latin America.

The specific problems associated with financial regulation in Europe, as well as the specific features which distinguish the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (ESFRC) from its counterparts in the US and Japan, derive from the fact that while Europe has already made substantial progress towards economic and political integration, it is still primarily a collection of distinct nation–states with differing institutional set-ups and political and economic traditions. Therefore, any attempt to work towards a European approach to financial regulation must include an effort to promote the development of a European culture of co-operation in this area, and this is precisely what the European Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee seeks to do. In this paper, Harald Benink, chairman of the ESFRC, and Reinhard H. Schmidt, one of the two German members, discuss the origin, the objectives and the functioning of the committee and the thrust of its recommendations.