Christine Lagarde: Welcome address

Speech by Christine Lagarde President of the European Central Bank, at the ECB Forum on Banking Supervision, Frankfurt am Main, 9 November 2021.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
23 November 2021

It's a pleasure to welcome you to the fourth ECB Forum on Banking Supervision.

The coronavirus pandemic has been a most unusual crisis. We saw the sharpest contraction in output ever recorded and one of the steepest recoveries ever observed. The response from policymakers was bold, in terms of both the support provided and the alignment between policies.

But an often underestimated, yet exceptional feature of this response has been the role played by the banking sector. Unlike in past crises, banks were not part of the problem – they were part of the solution. Banks were not only in a strong financial position to withstand the pandemic shock, but could help strengthen the common response to the crisis.

This role reversal is partly attributable to the contribution of European banking supervision. Back in 1999, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, one of the fathers of the euro, said:

"I am convinced that in the future [-] the banking industry will need a true and effective collective euro area supervisor. And it will have to be enhanced to the full extent required for banking supervision in the euro area to be as prompt and effective as it is within a single nation."