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Financial integration

When we talk about euro area financial integration, we mean the extent to which financial services are available under the same rules and conditions in all countries that use the euro.

In a well-integrated financial system, assets with the same risk-return characteristics cost the same, irrespective of the country in which they are traded. Financial integration therefore contributes to the uniform transmission of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) monetary policy across the euro area.


Biannual report on financial integration

Financial integration

The financial fragmentation experienced at the start of the pandemic was short-lived, mainly due to fiscal and monetary support. After being brought back to pre-pandemic levels, financial integration continued to increase, but still needs monitoring.


The trend towards non-banks continues, with an especially strong growth of investment and equity funds.

Capital markets

The pandemic shock renewed the need for better-integrated capital markets to promote cross-border risk sharing.


How does financial integration affect you?

Increased financial integration in the euro area can result in more investment opportunities for market participants and mean that they are able to diversify financial risks beyond their national borders. What is more, retail bank interest rates for consumers vary less across borders when there is more integration in the financial system, and businesses that want to expand can access money more easily.

In short, financial integration makes the European economy more efficient by ensuring a single European market for financial services.

What is our role?

The ECB and the euro national central banks – the Eurosystem – are legally mandated to support financial integration in Europe. There are a few ways we do this.

  • Advising on the legislative and regulatory framework for the financial system
  • Acting as a catalyst for private sector activities
  • Providing central bank services that foster financial integration
  • Carrying out in-depth analyses of the state of financial integration

ECB report on financial integration

We publish the results of our analyses every two years in a report on financial integration and structure in the euro area.

Financial Integration and Structure in the Euro Area, April 2022 Press Release Previous ECB reports on Financial integration

Related content

Looking for statistics on financial integration?

Learn more about indicators of financial integration and structure in the euro area



Once a year the European Commission and the ECB hold a joint conference on financial integration in Europe. The 2022 conference will be held online on 6 April 2022.

2022 conference programme
Read the European Commission’s annual reports on financial integration in Europe