EU launches investigation into bank-non-bank ties – The reason?


  • EU investigates ties between banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) like hedge funds and crypto groups.
  • Aimed at understanding risks and impacts of NBFI activities on the broader financial system.
  • NBFIs control nearly half the world’s financial assets, raising concerns about unregulated sectors.

The European Union is diving headfirst into the murky waters of financial interconnections, targeting the often-overlooked ties between banks and non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs). Spearheaded by the European Banking Authority (EBA), this probe is no casual glance but a deep, penetrating gaze into the complexities of these relationships. José Manuel Campa, the chair of the EBA, has made it abundantly clear that it’s high time to unravel the entangled web linking banks with entities like hedge funds, private capital firms, and the enigmatic world of cryptocurrencies.

Why this sudden interest, you ask? It’s simple. NBFIs, or as some like to call them, shadow banks, are now juggernauts in the financial arena, boasting control over nearly half of the world’s financial assets, a staggering $218 trillion worth. This isn’t pocket change we’re talking about; it’s a mountain of money that’s grown in the shadow of post-crisis regulations and the meteoric rise of areas like cryptocurrency, which remain largely outside the regulatory grasp.

The Ripple Effect of Shadow Banking

Understanding the ‘ripple effect’ of a shock in the shadow banking system on the wider financial environment is at the crux of this investigation. The EBA, which is no stranger to putting European lenders through their paces with biennial stress tests, is joining forces with the European Systemic Risk Board and the Financial Stability Board. Their goal? To get a handle on how a tremor in the shadow banking sector could send shockwaves through the broader financial system.

Consider the 2020 dash for cash or the 2022 UK gilt markets crisis – these were wake-up calls. Hedge funds making massive bets on US Treasuries and private capital getting cosy with rising rates have set off alarm bells. It’s not just about direct links, such as bank loans to non-banks. The EU’s concern extends to the indirect connections. Think of a scenario where a plunge in the value of assets favored by NBFIs, like treasuries or real estate, forces these institutions into a selling frenzy, potentially dragging banks down with them.

Shedding Light on Shadowy Corners

The first step in tackling this complex issue? Data, and lots of it. Campa is advocating for “significant minimum areas” of reporting to ensure regulators have clear, consistent information on crucial exposures of non-banks. This is about peeling back the layers of an “obscure sector,” where data quality is as varied as the institutions themselves.

But let’s not forget the other hot potato in the room – the latest global bank capital reforms. European banks, hoping for a six-month extension, have met with a cold shoulder from Campa. The law says January 2025, and he expects banks to be ready, period. This firm stance comes amidst a heated debate in the US, nearly two years after the initially planned start date.

Interestingly, Campa remains unmoved by the EU banks’ plea to relax a post-crisis cap on bonuses, a measure recently ditched by the US. His message is crystal clear: bonuses must be tightly woven into the risk management fabric of these institutions.

The investigation into the ties between banks and non-banks is not just another regulatory exercise. It’s a bold move to shine a light on the shadowy interplay of financial giants, a step towards demystifying the complex dynamics of the modern financial landscape. With the EU’s unwavering commitment to uncovering the truth, the finance world might just be on the brink of a major revelation. Stay tuned, because this story is far from over – it’s only just beginning.

Disclaimer: The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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Jai Hamid

Jai Hamid is a passionate writer with a keen interest in blockchain technology, the global economy, and literature. She dedicates most of her time to exploring the transformative potential of crypto and the dynamics of worldwide economic trends.

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