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Achieving an integrated market for banks and financial conglomerates is a core component of the European policy in the area of financial services

The Commission’s policies in the field of regulation of banks and financial conglomerates contribute to the relevant sections of the financial services action plan. These policies are based on the principles of mutual recognition and the “single passport”, a system which allows financial services operators legally established in one Member State to establish/provide their services in the other Member States without further authorisation requirements.

Soundly regulated and safe financial institutions are crucial for financial stability in the EU and require the establishment of a common framework ensuring prudential oversight and consumer protection all over the European internal market.

The key policy instrument to achieve this goal is the development, implementation and application of EU banking and financial conglomerates legislation with all stakeholders, covering regulatory and prudential rules for credit institutions, financial conglomerates and investment firms. This includes the correct and timely transposition of legislation in the Member States and the pursuit of any necessary infringement procedures by the Commission, as well as the development of any useful interpretative guidance on the EU banking legislation.

Achieving an integrated market for banks and financial conglomerates is not merely an inward-looking exercise. The external dimension of the EU-banking and financial conglomerates policy, in particular in relation to the “regulatory dialogues” with the USA and Switzerland on the equivalency of supervisory objectives, is an essential component of the Commission’s policy in this area. This work is an important recognition of the need to find synergies in an increasingly globalized world market. The preparation and integration of accession countries’ transposition legislation and banking markets is also an increasingly important field of work for the Banking and Financial Conglomerates Unit, which is responsible for this sector.

This Unit participates in a number of international fora, notably the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the Banking Supervision Committee of the European Central Bank and the Joint Forum on financial conglomerates.