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Europe's banking union is nowhere near perfect right now, top official says

Key Points
  • A European-wide banking union that was initiated in 2012 in the region as a way to prevent further financial shocks, and to separate sovereigns from their banking systems.
  • It is still not entirely complete with a European deposit insurance scheme still missing.
  • What has been implemented, however, is the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the Single Resolution Fund.
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European Banking Federation’s Roldan on volatility, a banking union and political uncertainty

Europe's much-vaunted banking union has made progress but more needs to be done to make it perfect, the vice president of the European Banking Federation, told CNBC.

"We have made a lot of progress, in terms of putting in place the banking union. We have the Single Supervisory Mechanism and the Single Resolution Board and we have case studies of how it is working in reality so I think a lot of progress has been done but having said that, is it yet perfect? Not at all," José María Roldán told CNBC's Joumanna Bercetche Tuesday.

"We need to make further progress," Roldán, who is also chairman of the Spanish Banking Association, said.

A European-wide banking union that was initiated in 2012 in the region as a way to prevent further financial shocks, and to separate sovereigns from their banking systems, is still not entirely complete with a European deposit insurance scheme still missing.

What has been implemented, however, is the Single Supervisory Mechanism, which has seen the European Central Bank take on certain supervisory tasks over the EU financial system, and the Single Resolution Fund, funded by euro zone banks and to be used as a last resort to rescue struggling euro zone banks.

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As such, Roldán said progress had been made but conceded there was more work to do.

The European deposit insurance scheme was still missing as an element, he said, adding of the banking union that "if it's not perfect, it's not worth it," he said.

"In the next five years we have to complete it if we want to have what we wanted which is basically a better transmission of monetary policy in crisis and finalizing (ending) the sovereign financial doom-loop."

Consolidation among European banks, and banks in general, would become more common and help to improve profitability, Roldán also said.

"We have three headwinds that are going to push (consolidation) forward even more; we have very complex regulation so the size of the bank helps to deal with that, we have the digital transformation as another element, and we have (the issue of) sustainable finance," he said.

"So, all these three elements push towards a greater size of the European banking sector generally speaking, which is, compared to the U.S. sector, relatively small even with the big banks."

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