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This presentation by Sebastian Schich draws attention to a potentially fundamental flaw in the design of the European banking union, which is the incomplete harmonization of the underlying financial safety net.
It abstracts somewhat from the specific institutional aspects that currently figure prominently in the European safety net discussion in the financial press. According to one popular view, the European safety net requires, in addition to a common lender of last resort, three pillars, that is first, a common regulatory framework and a single supervisor, second a single bank restructuring fund and third, harmonised or unified deposit insurance. This view implies that the current banking union agenda is incomplete as only the first of the three pillars is in place. While the presentation agrees with the basic assessment that the banking union agenda is still incomplete, the approach taken places a sharp focus on the safety net functions rather than the institutions providing these functions, acknowledging however that both aspects are important. In particular, it argues that the modern definition of the financial safety net includes a guarantor of last resort function.
Moreover, as long as a common fiscal backstop for the European banking sector is missing, the guarantor-of-last-resort function remains a national issue. In fact, an analysis of data reveals that bank debt benefit from implicit guarantees and that the value of the guarantees reflect not only the weakness of the bank but also the strength of the sovereign perceived to be providing the guarantees. This observation is consistent with the view that the GOLR function is perceived as being provided by each sovereign to its domestic banks only. As a result, especially during periods of heightened market stress, banks in Europe face different funding conditions depending on where they are located.
Read more about OECD work on financial sector guarantees http://www.oecd.org/daf/fin/financial-markets/financialsectorguarantees.htm