Curtailing Capture through the European Banking Union: A Note of Caution
Francfort : Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe
Policy Letter : 27
First paragraph: One of the motivations for establishing a European banking union was the desire to break the ties between national regulators and domestic financial institutions in order to prevent regulatory capture. The centralization of supervisory authority under the auspices of the European Central Bank aims to prevent conflicts of interest that can exist between national authorities and financial institutions operating in global markets. In particular, critics have pointed at regulatory leniency towards national champions, the protection and promotion of domestic regulatory standards at the disadvantage of foreign competitors or implicit encouragement to hold domestic sovereign bonds. One of the most glaring lessons of the recent crisis seems to be that elite failure – both on the side of the public authorities and the private sector – was the result of complacency, misjudgment and sometimes even outright manipulation that could have been avoided if supervision and regulation happened at a greater distance. By centralizing these functions at the European level, financial institutions will no longer be able to play their domestic advantage, or rely to the same extent on much criticized sources of proximity with regulators such as schooling and education, rotating doors or joint golf excursions.