The coming transformation of continental european banking?

BIS Working Papers No 54
June 1998
This paper first provides a broad overview of current conditions in the banking industry in some of the countries that will participate in European economic and monetary union. It then goes on to identify a number of important forces for change. Some of these are global in nature, but likely to have a particularly strong impact in continental Europe, while others (such as the introduction of the euro) are distinctively European. The paper then notes just how little restructuring has actually taken place in continental European banking in the last decade and offers some explanations. The conclusion reached is that the banking sector in continental Europe may now be about to enter a period of sharply increased competition. This will pose challenges for national regulators and other policy-makers concerned with the maintenance of financial stability.