The diversity of the European banking sector's business models proved to be an asset in order to overcome the crisis in the European Union. Savings and retail banks are parts of this sector and have a strong belief in their essential role in the financing of the real economy – households and SMEs in particular.
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As enshrined in the Treaty of the European Union, Article 5, it ensures that a matter ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralised level capable of addressing that matter effectively, the organisation of the retail and savings banks follows this principle as their efficiency comes from their local roots.>> See latest positions
As acknowledged by European and international legislative bodies and standard setters (e.g. the Basel Committee, in its core principles for effective banking supervision, Principle 8), the proportionality principle is an instrument that aims to achieve the right balance between the objectives pursued by legislation and the methods used to achieve them. This balance must be ensured in order to prevent the financial system and its regulatory framework from creating disproportionate obligations to banks that do not adjust to the standards of size, complexity, business model and cross-border activity; banks that due to their low-risk business model constitute stabilising factors in the financial system.
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