Policy brief

Supervisory transparency in the European banking union

Current and planned European Union requirements on bank transparency are either insufficient or could be easily sidestepped by supervisors. A banking

Publishing date
03 January 2014

Bank supervisors should provide publicly accessible, timely and consistent data on the banks under their jurisdiction. Such transparency increases democratic accountability and leads to greater market efficiency.

There is greater supervisory transparency in the United States compared to the member states of the European Union. The US supervisors publish data quarterly and update fairly detailed information on bank balance sheets within a week. By contrast, based on an attempt to locate similar data in every EU country, in only 11 member states is this data at least partially available from supervisors, and in no member state is the level of transparency as high as in the US.

Current and planned European Union requirements on bank transparency are either insufficient or could be easily sidestepped by supervisors. A banking union in Europe needs to include requirements for greater supervisory transparency.

About the authors

  • Mark Hallerberg

    Mark Hallerberg has been a Non-Resident Fellow at Bruegel since September 2013. He is a Professor of Public Management and Political Economy at the Hertie School of Governance and is Director of Hertie's Fiscal Governance Centre.

    He is the author of one book, co-author of a second, and co-editor of a third. He has published over twenty-five articles and book chapters on fiscal governance, tax competition and exchange rate choice.

    He has previously held professorships at Emory University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the Georgia Institute of Technology. He has done consulting work for the Dutch and German Ministries of Finance, Ernst and Young Poland, the European Central Bank, the German Development Corporation (GIZ), the Inter-American Development Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

  • Christopher Gandrud

    Christopher Gandrud is a Lecturer in Quantitative International Political Economy at City University London and Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Fiscal Governance Centre, Hertie School of Governance. His research focuses on the international political economy of public financial and monetary institutions, as well as applied social science statistics and software development. His work has been published in peer reviewed journals including the Journal of Common Market Studies, Journal of Peace Research, Research and Politics, Review of International Political Economy, Political Science Research and Methods, Journal of Statistical Software, and International Political Science Review. He has been a Lecturer in International Relations at Yonsei University and a Fellow in Government at the London School of Economics where in 2012 he completed a PhD in quantitative political science.

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