The goal of this paper is to provide an assessment of the EU policies that pursue the creation of a single banking market. The paper evaluates the degree of integration of EU banking markets, the impact of the integration process on the conduct, the structure and the performance of the industry at the EU level, and discusses whether current policies are the most appropriate instruments for market integration. After comparing the key features of EU policy with alternative methods of market opening, the analysis stresses that market opening in regulated markets such as banking faces a difficult trade-off between respect for domestic preferences and the elimination of regulations that protect local competitors and are not justified on efficiency grounds. The paper also provides an overview of recent research which has looked at different indicators of market integration in EU banking. Finally, it analyzes the impact of integration policies on the conduct, the structure and the performance of the banking industry. The conclusion provides an integrative assessment, summarizing the key results of the paper and evaluating the extent to which the changes in the degree of integration and the performance of the industry imply that the EU single market policies have achieved their objectives.
integration policies; banking industry; European Union; market integration; regulated markets; market structure; single market;
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