Legal working papers published in 2008
In-depth studies for experts
Our Legal Working Paper Series (LWPS) disseminates legal research and doctrine on issues relevant to the tasks and functions of the ECB and the ESCB. Legal Working Papers (LWPs) constitute “work in progress”. They are published to stimulate discussion and contribute to the development of community, monetary and financial law. They are addressed to experts, so readers should be knowledgeable in the legal field.
Availability: ECB Legal Working Papers are available online only.
- No. 7
30 July 2008
- Electronic money institutions - current trends, regulatory issues and future prospects
K : Law and Economics
Adopted in response to the emergence of new prepaid electronic payment instruments and aspiring to establish a clear legal framework for the strengthening of the Single Market in payment services and the promotion of competition between issuing institutions, the E-money Directives have yet to achieve their objectives. Several years after the legislation's entry into force, relatively few licences have been issued, while the size of the e-money market continues to remain modest. What is more, the likelihood of an immediate increase in the volume of e-money issuance appears small, not only because of the still limited consumer interest in e-payment instruments but, also, on account of the perceived failings of the current regulatory regime. The purpose of this paper is to examine critically the state of play in this segment of the financial services industry and to inquire how the E-money Directives might be amended to bring about enhanced legal and operational certainty, facilitate the delivery of the potential benefits of e-money and contribute to the development of e-commerce within the EU. Our discussion of the regulatory concerns raised by the E-money Directives and our inquiry into the most appropriate means of resolving these will be preceded by an examination of the e-money market's expansion hitherto and its future growth prospects within the EU.
- No. 6
26 June 2008
- The legal implications of the prudential supervisory assessment of bank mergers and acquisitions under EU law
K : Law and Economics
In September 2004, the Scheveningen ECOFIN Council invited the European Commission to identify the various obstacles to cross-border consolidation in the EU financial sector, including obstacles resulting from the application of prudential rules by supervisory authorities. Although this consolidation has increased in recent years, the number of cross-border mergers and acquisitions in the banking sector continues to lag behind other (non-financial) sectors. Moreover, the difficulties experienced by EU banks in attempting to acquire stakes in financial undertakings in other EU Member States (e.g. in Italy in 2005 or in Poland in 2006) have highlighted the need to ensure a high level of transparency and legal certainty in the rules applied by supervisory authorities when assessing proposed increases in and acquisitions of qualifying holdings, and the need for the Commission to closely monitor the application of these rules. This has led to the adoption of Directive 2007/44/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 (
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