Financial market integration

Financial market integration is essential for an effective monetary union and important for financial stability. This is because integrated, safe and efficient payments and securities settlement systems mean:

  • monetary policy can be transmitted smoothly across the whole euro area
  • financial assets can be moved efficiently and safely irrespective of borders

More information about the payment and securities settlement systems developed and operated by the Eurosystem can be found under TARGET Services.

In our role as a catalyst, the Eurosystem tries to increase the level of integration by ensuring that harmonised standards, rules and processes are defined and implemented by the financial market. We also explore fintech innovation that has the potential to bring greater efficiency to the field of payment services.

What is the ECB doing to promote integration and drive harmonisation?

As regards retail payments, the ECB contributed to harmonising the way non-cash euro payments are made by actively facilitating the development of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

Another area in which the ECB is currently driving harmonisation is that of post-trade, i.e. the technical, regulatory and market activities related to securities settlement and the safe and efficient mobilisation of collateral in the euro area.

Find more information about the ECB’s activities to promote integration and harmonisation in these key areas: