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Cross-border payments are crucial for the integration of the EU economy, and play an important role in ensuring that citizens and enterprises from all EU Member States enjoy the same rights offered by the single market. Since the introduction of the euro, the EU has launched various initiatives to reduce the cost of cross-border transactions, among them a set of single euro payments area (SEPA) standards, regulations on cross-border payments, and the Payment Services Directives. Nevertheless, cross-border ...

While the overall argument in favour of cheaper cross-border payments across the euro and non-euro Member States appears sensible, this impact assessment could have been stronger in terms of discussing the specifics of the financial infrastructure in non-euro Member States and the shortcomings of the cross-border payments market related to these specifics. A more detailed comparison of options including the economic impacts (particularly as related to SMEs) would have been helpful, as would be a ...

The monthly scrutiny slot at the ECON meeting of 21 November 2017 focued on the Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) specifying the requirements on strong customer authentication and common and secure communication under PSD2 which the Commission is about to adopt. These RTS have been previously discussed in ECON scrutiny slots and are the most sensitive PSD2 level-2 measure on which the industry has voiced concerns. The end of the session was dedicated to the RTS on separation of payment card schemes ...

TARGET imbalances at record levels: Should we worry?

Análisis en profundidad 15-11-2017

TARGET is the payments system for making settlements between euro area economies and five other EU economies. Cross-border transactions generate claims/surpluses and liabilities/deficits among national central banks which “net out” for the system as a whole. These imbalances are manageable in relative terms, but look large in absolute terms. None are larger than one third of their corresponding public debt ratios; and despite a big build up in the 2010-13 period, the imbalances now appear to be on ...

TARGET (im)balances at record level: Should we worry?

Análisis en profundidad 15-11-2017

LAccording to the ECB, the recent rise in TARGET 2 balances could be seen as the result of the decentralised implementation of the extended asset purchase programme (APP). The programme entails cross-border payments by the purchasing NCBs, with around 50% of involved counterparties resident outside the euro area, including the UK. These counterparties access the TARGET system via a limited number of financial centres, particularly Germany and, to a lesser extent, the Netherlands. According to the ...

Should we be concerned about TARGET balances?

Análisis en profundidad 15-11-2017

This document was provided to Policy Department A at the request of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. The paper describes how the Eurosystem’s processing of cross-border banking transactions via its TARGET2 payments system produces a set of assets and liability items on the balance sheets of national central banks. The factors determining the evolution of TARGET-related balances are discussed and the risks associated with these balances are addressed.

TARGET imbalances at record levels: Should we worry?

Análisis en profundidad 15-11-2017

The imbalances within the Eurosystem’s Target 2 payment system are an indication that financial markets are not fully integrated. However, the increase in these imbalances in the wake of the large asset purchases (often called QE, for quantitative easing) that started in early 2015, should not be a particular cause for concern. The imbalances had declined until the start of QE, accompanied by a reduction in risk premia. QE was associated with a further reduction in financial stress. There is thus ...

TARGET (im-)balances at record level: Should we worry?

Análisis en profundidad 15-11-2017

Target2 balances have re-increased since late 2014 in parallel with extraordinary monetary policy measures. At first glance, the ECB’s asset purchasing programme seems to contribute just mechanically to a widening of Target2 positions. However, excessive liquidity provision reduces the role of cross-border interbank markets, which could otherwise reduce Target2 imbalances. Also, other factors like hetero-geneous country risk may also continue to play a role, but are concealed in the current monetary ...

Libre circulación de capitales

Fichas temáticas sobre la EU 01-11-2017

La libre circulación de capitales no es solo la más reciente de las libertades consagradas en el Tratado, sino que, gracias a la peculiaridad de incluir a los terceros países, es también la más amplia. La liberalización de los flujos de capital ha avanzado gradualmente. Desde el Tratado de Maastricht se han eliminado todas las restricciones a los movimientos de capitales y sobre los pagos, tanto entre Estados miembros como con terceros países. El principio es directamente aplicable, es decir, no ...

Servicios financieros: principales actos legislativos

Fichas temáticas sobre la EU 01-11-2017

La regulación y supervisión de los servicios financieros en la Unión ha recibido gran atención durante la crisis financiera mundial. En el período posterior a la crisis, la Unión emprendió una importante revisión de su política de los servicios financieros a fin de restablecer la estabilidad y la confianza en el sistema financiero. En los últimos años se han propuesto más de 40 nuevas medidas, gracias a iniciativas como la unión bancaria y la Unión de Mercados de Capitales. La reforma del sector ...