Catching-up Strategies in CESEE Economies
Edited by Ewald Nowotny, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Chapter 24: After the Crisis: Financial Sector Reform in the EU
María Teresa Fábregas Fernández The financial crisis that hit Europe in 2008 was the worst since the 1930s. But the situation would have been much worse if governments, central banks, European institutions and other international institutions had not responded forcefully. Even if the crisis is not over, we need to start rebuilding and we must reform. Financial markets were at the heart of the crisis and they cannot remain the same. Why? Global financial services regulation failed to prevent or contain the crisis. So, a profound review of our regulatory policy is needed. A safer, sounder, more transparent and more responsible financial system working for the economy, and for society as a whole, is a precondition for sustainable growth. Stricter and more comprehensive rules covering the entire scope of financial activities are therefore needed. Improved supervision is also essential; and the new supervisory structure at the European level will help to achieve this objective. But Europe cannot do this in isolation. The crisis was international and calls for an international response. All major jurisdictions are implementing changes and we have to do it in a coherent manner. Ensuring an international level playing field is critical in this process for all players: for investors, for financial institutions, for supervisors, for everyone. And that is the reason why Europe is playing a key role in driving forward the G20 agenda. We are very active in these G20 fora, together with European Union members of the G20 group, and we...
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