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A Capital Market Union for Europe

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A Capital Market Union for Europe


5 min read
3 take-aways
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What's inside?

In a unified European capital market, investment would flow more efficiently and cost-effectively.

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  • Analytical
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Creating a European capital market union (CMU) is no small task, but if properly executed, it would allow firms to tap more investment sources and cut their funding costs. This informational briefing from IMF economists highlights the need for EU member states to adopt a supranational mind-set that would encompass cross-border transparency, harmonized regulation and consistent insolvency standards. Policy makers and financial professionals will find many cogent arguments in this authoritative proposal.


In the European Union, businesses and households rely largely on local banks for funding and investing. 

The depth of banking and capital markets in the European Union reflect how firms and individuals save, borrow and invest. EU businesses depend far less on the capital markets for funding than their American counterparts do. In the EU, banks – with assets equivalent to roughly three times the region’s GDP, compared to American banks’ 85% share of US GDP – dominate for several reasons. One is that the large numbers of family-owned and small and medium-sized companies in the EU prefer their banking relationships to public...

About the Authors

Ashok Vir Bhatia et al. are economists with the IMF.

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