The savings of the European Union’s 500 million citizens could be used to fund long-term investments to boost the economy and help plug the gap left by banks since the financial crisis, an EU document says.
The EU is looking for ways to wean the 28-country bloc from its heavy reliance on bank financing and find other means of funding small companies, infrastructure projects and other investment.
“The economic and financial crisis has impaired the ability of the financial sector to channel funds to the real economy, in particular long-term investment,” said the document, seen by Reuters.
The Commission will ask the bloc’s insurance watchdog in the second half of this year for advice on a possible draft law “to mobilize more personal pension savings for long-term financing”, the document said.
Banks have complained they are hindered from lending to the economy by post-crisis rules forcing them to hold much larger safety cushions of capital and liquidity.
The document said the “appropriateness” of the EU capital and liquidity rules for long-term financing will be reviewed over the next two years, a process likely to be scrutinized in the United States and elsewhere to head off any risk of EU banks gaining an unfair advantage.
It is also seeking to revive the securitization market, which pools loans like mortgages into bonds that banks can sell to raise funding for themselves or companies. The market was tarnished by the financial crisis when bonds linked to U.S. home loans began defaulting in 2007, sparking the broader global markets meltdown over the ensuing two years.
The document says the Commission will “take into account possible future increases in the liquidity of a number of securitization products” when it comes to finalizing a new rule on what assets banks can place in their new liquidity buffers. This signals a possible loosening of the definition of eligible assets from the bloc’s banking watchdog.
Full article: Exclusive: EU executive sees personal savings used to plug long-term financing gap (Reuters)