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ESBG Retail Banking Conference

ESBG Retail Banking Conference

​November event tackles policy topics in new parliamentary term

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>> Related: ESBG position on sustainable finance

BRUSSELS, 21 August 2019 – A new European Parliament and a new EU Commission appointed soon mean policymaking will have new faces and a new direction. That includes the future of the EU supervisory system with, among other items, the completion of the Basel III regulation. It also means the creation of a sustainabile financial sector and a retail payments system fit for the 21st century needs of Europeans. 

Before future EU policy plans takes full shape, more than 200 policymakers, banking executives and industry experts will take part on 21 November in ESBG's much-anticipated Retail Banking Conference at the Sofitel Brussels Europe. This year's conference features high-level representatives from EU institutions, including the European Central Bank, who have already confirmed their participation. The speaker lineup will be released in the coming days with members of the European Parliament, European Commission officials and experts in the payment sector expected to take part. 

"The event has a three-topic approach that stimulates much-sought dialogue between policymakers and Europe's retail bankers on the pressing issues shaping Europe. Along with sustainable finance and a modern retail payments system, the overall policy framework needs to be explored. 

Commenting on the upcoming conference, ESBG Managing Director Chris De Noose said: "The event looks to answer how Europe can best maintain a diversfied banking sector that includes strong, locally focused savings and retail banks. One ingredient to do this is proportionate and well-balanced regulatory regime. 

Sustainability: Social aspects carry weight

Framing sustainability remains a challenge for not only for EU rulemakers, but also for banks, financial sector policy wonks and Europeans. One often-overlooked social aspects of sustainability. Association members and industry experts argue that the social pillar arrying just as much weight as highly debated environment and governance. Savings and retail banks in the ESBG membership are sensitve to the social part because they have strived to balance the need for financial sustainability and a return to society. For example, data show savings and retail banks are some of Europe's most important providers of SME finance, with hundreds of billions in SME loans on the books. They give back some 1.3 billion euros in philanthropy too.

De Noose added: "The time is ripe to go beyond the usual sustainability chatter and dig into the social aspects. Relatedly, when the right regulatory framework weaves in proportionality, Europe's 900 savings and retail banks can better mobilise all their resources including people  to help build a sustainable future for all European citizens."