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 ECRI News No.44

ECRI News No. 44  (Winter 2013)

In this newsletter, you will find our expectations for 2013 in European credit markets, summary of recent ECRI conferences, research review of recent micro-level analyses of household debt, view into the current debate on consumer over-indebtedness and other information on ECRI publications and our future events, research and projects.

Where is the European household sector in the deleveraging cycle?

One of many uncertainties still hanging over Europe’s economic recovery in the hostile post-crisis economic environment is how the household sector will cope with the debt reduction being sought. As a decade-long trend of generous credit expansion goes into reverse, deleveraging in the household sector moves forward, but the trend is far from homogeneous across nations. It is expected that household deleveraging will take time and that it will require continued policy support to prevent an abrupt retrenchment from debt, which could obstruct countries’ recovery.

Bank business models, diversity and the future of regulation

In recent decades, there has been a discernible trend toward the homogenisation of banking models, favouring the ‘shareholder-value’ banks. In the aftermath of the crisis, this model is being called into question and the merits of alternative ‘stakeholder value’ models are being considered. On December 8th, CEPS and ECRI co-hosted a conference on the impact of a new capital regulation (CRDIV) and other regulations on diversity in the banking sector. Banks acted as a shock-absorber during the financial crisis.

Innovation in mobile and electronic payments

Secure and efficient payments are a cornerstone in the success of the Single Market. While innovation brings more efficiency, there are security, consumer protection and competition issues to be addressed. On January 31st, ECRI and CEPS co-hosted an event to discuss the future of innovative card, internet and mobile payments.

Foreign currency indebtedness: A potential systemic risk in emerging Europe

Foreign currency indebtedness in new EU member states has had serious post-crisis consequences, where a substantial currency mismatch has contributed to an alteration in the macroeconomic and financial risk profile of individual countries. A pivotal challenge ahead for emerging Europe will be to strengthen institutional and monetary credibility and reinforce stable and efficient capital markets that are less dependent on foreign capital inflows. This would ultimately reduce countries’ vulnerability to future shocks to the economy, and facilitate their full-blown recovery.

Review of the Payment Services Directive: The question of surcharges

The Payment Services Directive was intended to provide more price transparency for users and a level playing field for efficient competition among different payment services by decreasing the inhibiting effects of different legislation, cross-subsidisation and non-cost-based pricing. The European Commission, however, intended most of these effects to come about through market-led initiatives.

ECRI News - Autumn 2011

ECRI has published the Autumn edition of its quarterly Newsletter. The issue includes information about our upcoming events and our research, together with the latest news about credit markets and retail financial services.

To download ECRI News, please click here.   

Trends in European Household Credit: Solid or shaky ground for regulatory changes?

In this ECRI Commentary, Elina Pyykkö provides a snapshot of the current state of household credit markets in Europe. She assesses how member states have recovered from the financial crisis by looking at credit markets and other financial indicators. The evidence is used to discuss what grounds the different stages of recovery provide for new EU-wide legislative proposals, in particular the proposed directive on mortgage credit.

ECRI News - Summer 2011

ECRI has published the Summer edition of its quarterly Newsletter. The issue includes information about our upcoming and recent events and our research, together with news about credit markets and retail financial services.

A New Mortgage Credit Regime for Europe: Setting the Right Priorities

This report aims to contribute to the debate on how the EU could most efficiently respond to the challenges posed and the deficiencies revealed by the financial crisis in the area of retail credit. It is based in part on discussions that took place within the CEPS-ECRI Task Force on A New Retail Credit Regime for Europe – Setting the Right Priorities, which met between May 2010 and January 2011. Given the policy directions, the discussions focused largely on the largest component of retail credit, mortgages.

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