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Financial services

Banking & Payment systems

Consumers and businesses alike use the financial services provided by the banking and payment sectors. The Commission applies the EU competition rules fully to these sectors, and recently DG Competition has played an important role in tackling the financial crisis in the banking sector.

The banking sector includes retail banking (for individual consumers), wholesale banking (for financial institutions) and corporate banking (services to companies). The Commission has carried out a sector inquiry into retail banking.

The payment sector includes a wide range of services, such as inter-bank payment systems (Target, Euro1, etc.), corporate and retail payments and payment cards. Competitors commonly participate in co-operative arrangements in this sector, and these could give rise to competition concerns. The Commission, and competition and regulatory authorities all over the world, actively investigate anti-competitive practices in the payment sector and in payment cards in particular.

The Directorates-General for Competition and Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (DG FISMA) co-operate in this field to ensure that EU financial regulation is pro-competitive from the outset.

Competition enforcement in the payment services market

Legislation in the payment services area