Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector
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Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector

Edited by François-Charles Laprévote, Joanna Gray and Francesco De Cecco

The Research Handbook on State Aid in the Banking Sector brings together experts in state aid and in financial regulation, drawn from legal academia, legal practice, economics, and from the EU and EEA institutions to shed light on this relationship. The editors and expert contributors do this by elucidating key concepts that underpin the application of state aid law to banks, and by considering specific aspects of the interface between state aid and financial regulation. The Research Handbook's analysis is complemented by a number of key country-based case studies, and by a concluding section which takes stock of the Banking Union’s package of legislative/regulatory reforms and reflects on the possible future role of state aid in this sector.
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Chapter 4: State aid to banking: application of the market economy investor principle

Phedon Nicolaides


While most of the public support of financial institutions granted during the crisis period was deemed State aid, there were still a few instances in which public support escaped this qualification. This chapter examines the conditions under which public funding of banks does not constitute State aid, with particular emphasis on the application of the market economy investor principle (MEIP) to banking. It describes the main aspects of the MEIP, refers to the role of the European Central Bank in defining the rates of remuneration that would be acceptable to a private investor, and reviews the main contentious issues arising from application of the MEIP. It also refers to other public measures which do not constitute State aid other than by conforming with the behaviour of a hypothetical private investor.

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