A recent conference in Brussels has focused on challenges European banks are set to confront in the coming years and their role in sustaining viable economies.
The 17th Annual Financial Services Conference in Europe was attended by top banking executives within the EU, while keynote speakers and commentators included distinguished players within the banking world. Among them was John McFarlane (Barclays chairman), Shriti Vadera (Sandander chairman), Denis Duverne (AXA chairman).
Of particular interest was the debate on the future of the sector in Europe and the recorded stagnation in the implementation of major reforms. Such as the establishment of a competitive market through banking integration and a Union of Securities & Exchange Commissions.
Unicredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier had kick-started the debate, which was followed by an intervention by Central Bank of Cyprus executive member Constantinos Herodotou who pointed out that for such a Union to bring about positive results, it should be ensured – first and above all – that Small and Medium Enterprises which are the backbone of not only the Cypriot economy but also of the European one will benefit.
Otherwise, Herodotou stressed, we cannot talk about a successful union of commissions since this will not serve the main purpose of its establishment. Equally important is to ensure that Europe’s smallest banks continue not only to survive but also to develop through more general banking and capital market developments.