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European Financial Services Round Table

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
EFR Report: The Road Ahead for Financial Services in Europe
New EFR Report on "The Road Ahead for Financial Services in Europe" Europe is in a deep need for economic growth and a healthy European financial sector is essential to support this growth. It remains a very critical time. Although there have been some signs of recovery, the European economy is still under pressure, weighed down by indebtedness, unemployment - especially among young people - and declining competitiveness. European policymakers, politicians, regulators, central bankers, financial services firms, the private sector in general, and citizens are adjusting to pull through this difficult period. The European Financial Services Round Table (EFR) wants to contribute to the important debate about the key issues facing Europe and the choices faced by leading policy-makers through the publication of a new report: "The Road Ahead for Financial Services in Europe: enabling the financial sector to create growth, promote long-term investment and improve competitiveness." The report will be shared with incoming Members of the European Parliament, the new European Commission and other key policy-makers to highlight the purpose and importance of financial services in Europe in the broader economy and the links to economic growth. The report also addresses the changing needs of consumers in Europe and what their future expectations are likely to be and proposes a number of high-level goals for effective regulation before making specific recommendations on 14 key issues affecting the financial services sector. The challenges are well known. Europe needs to start growing again so it can create jobs. Many countries have to improve their fiscal positions, become more competitive and invest for the long-term. This will not be easy, especially as the demographic profile of Europe is changing. The coming years will be critical. At the same time Europe is part of a more integrated world, where other economies are growing faster and becoming increasingly competitive. There are many opportunities to create a better economic system. National governments in Europe have introduced reforms and created incentives to encourage sustainable growth, efforts that dovetail with substantial G20 commitments to make the international system safer, more robust and better able to withstand future shocks. The European financial sector is at the centre of these developments, as the infrastructure to keep the economies moving and growing. The financial sector is undertaking massive operational and cultural changes. It is innovating, rebuilding trust in the financial system and working hard to meet the needs of consumers. European financial services firms must remain competitive. This means respecting the diversity of their business models, and allowing them to keep providing the products and services the European economy needs. The institutions of the European Union are also undergoing change. 2014 sees a new European Parliament and a new European Commission. Politicians and civil servants will inherit an ambitious agenda of financial regulatory reform and will finalise the important work already underway on Banking Union, Solvency II and in other areas. They need to convince the citizens of Europe what steps need to be taken and why. In these difficult times it is important to work together to make the right decisions about matters that will boost long-term growth, employment and competitiveness. For that to happen it is vital that there is a well functioning and diverse financial services sector that will continue to play its role in the economy and in society as a whole.

Accompanying Document(s)
The Road Ahead.pdf