Death in Veneto? European Banking Union and the Structural Power of Large Banks
24 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 2019
We argue that the evolving preferences and power resources of large cross-border banks help explain the crucial political moves to European banking union. As they became larger and more European, the relative dependence of these banks on national regulators declined even as the dependence of states on these banks increased – resulting in a net rise in the structural power of large banks. These banks benefited from the supranationalization of supervision through reduced compliance costs and the effective opening of European markets. The political divergence in the interests of large international banks and small national ones eventually caused the German and the French governments’ change of position in intergovernmental bargaining. Once in place, banking union accelerated balance sheet consolidation to the benefit of large banks that took over their weaker competitors.
Keywords: Banking supervision, banking union, European integration, European Union, Eurozone
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