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Banks and Financial Markets in times of low growth

Plenary / Panel
German and English language


Former Director, Avenir Suisse; Owner, Analysen & Strategien, Zurich Abstract Key Note
The title of the panel refers to Kenneth Rogoff’s «new normal» paradigm which has replaced the times of the «great moderation». But the harmless formulation «in times of low growth» also eclipses important part of the political-economic narrative of the crises and its historic impact on the banking sector. Even if one discounts the nostalgic voices which call for a return to some kind of the good old times of banking (Glass-Steagal, Volcker-Rule, etc.) or even some monetary utopia (100-percent-money, abolition of central banks, etc.), the ongoing banking and sovereign debt crises has created conditions which will be far more relevant for the future of banking and financial markets than just «low growth» in the sense of a cyclical downturn or even the burst of a speculative bubble. The keynote will discuss three of these new conditions or transformative forces:
1 A total interdependence of states and banks which has not only led to a situation where more or less all banks are considered systemically relevant (the same way a tiny economy like Greece is considered systemically relevant for the European currency). The consequences of this interdependence range from severe distortions of competition in the sector via massive redistribution to a politically dangerous collusion of banking and governments/parties.
2 Massive and ongoing efforts for regulating and controlling the sector (without taking into account the hidden agendas and organizational and moral hazards usually involved in these type of interventions). The competition of regulation replaces the real competition in the markets, and seems to lead inevitably towards some kind of defensive re-nationalization of institutes and the sectors.
3 Perhaps the most important although not yet well organized development is the loss of not just trust but fundamental legitimation of the industry, the market economy, even capitalism. The political fallout from this development remains to find its ideologies, parties and leaders. But the crisis has shown that despite the rise of ad-hoc powers like the G20 or the Troika the nation state has re-emerged as the key player and nationalist-moralistic narratives have shaped the debate about the future course of Europa.
In Switzerland, not only are the two leading banks too-big-to-fail (and, at the same time, too-big-to-be-saved), but the financial sector accounts for a larger share of GDP than in any other country. In addition to the consequences of the crises outlined above, the sovereign debt crises and the subsequent austerity policies in various neighboring countries are forcing the banking sector to develop a whole new business model.
The history of the financial and sovereign debt crisis will not be written for a considerable amount of time. The preliminary conclusion is that the sector cannot return to business as usual (cf. the first decade the millennium). This holds true whether the Eurozone (and the EU) will survive the debt crises or not. But whether the future holds a kind of state-dependent, monopolistic, heavily regulated, utility-like banking system or whether we re-invent a truly customer driven, private, competitive banking or whether technological changes will detour capital and risk allocation from banks towards other companies with large customer bases, nobody can tell now.
Research Fellow, Bruegel, Brussels Abstract
Before the crisis, cross-border banking integration was a distinctive feature of European financial markets. Research shows sizeable benefits of integration. However, the mutually reinforcing sovereign debt crisis, banking crisis and fragile economic outlook have led to fragmentation along national borders as evidenced e.g. by significant cross-border deleveraging, increased dispersion in national interbank lending and retail interest rates, growing ‘home bias’ in Eurosystem collateral posting, and national regulatory and supervisory responses. These changes coupled with European and global regulatory efforts pose major challenges to multinational banking groups and risk a reduction in banking efficiency. The real economy would be impacted as well and while historical examples show that ‘growing without credit’ was possible in a number of countries, at the current European juncture there is little hope for that.
Member, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats), European Parliament, Brussels Abstract
The new capital requirements are not only a pivotal piece of banking regulation, but a law to finance the real economy. In times when Europe needs economic growth, a law which affects the costs of credits is an important key to stimulate growth and employment in Europe. The European Parliament wants to cheapen loans for business start-ups and SME. To promote start-ups, innovations and certain business models in some member states, the SME-factor should also be applied to business start-ups loans. The risk ratio of infrastructural loans should be reduced and the characteristics of trade financing should be taken into consideration.
Former Chief Executive Officer, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Vienna Abstract
"Spürbare Strukturreformen und eine nachhaltige Budgetkonsolidierung sind im derzeitigen Umfeld von besonderer Bedeutung für den langfristigen wirtschaftlichen Erfolg Europas. Diese Maßnahmen müssen auf lokaler bzw. gesamteuropäischer politischer Ebene konsequent vorangetrieben werden. Im Gefolge der Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise steht aber auch die Notwendigkeit neuer Regelungen für Banken und Finanzmärkte außer Frage.

Diese müssen die - vor allem für den Kunden wertvolle - Vielfalt des europäischen Bankenmarkts, die auch die Kommission ausdrücklich anerkennt, ausreichend berücksichtigen. Die neuen Regeln sollten daher keine Geschäftsmodelle (weder solche großer international tätiger Banken noch solche kleiner regionaler Banken) oder Rechtsformen (also Aktiengesellschaften, Sparkassen oder Genossenschaften) verunmöglichen bzw. überfordern. Andernfalls würde die Rolle der Kreditwirtschaft als verlässlicher Partner und Financier der Realwirtschaft leiden.

Es vergeht derzeit kaum ein Monat ohne neue Regulierungsinitiativen für die Finanzwirtschaft. Vieles wird andiskutiert wenig zu Ende geführt (und mitunter auch gedacht)! Die Notwendigkeit strengerer Regeln steht außer Frage – ebenso wie die Notwendigkeit diese rasch und mit Augenmaß zu entscheiden, um den Banken und der Realwirtschaft verlässliche Planungsparameter zu gewährleisten und Wachstumsimpulse zu ermöglichen."
Former Member of the Board, ECB - European Central Bank, Luxembourg; Consultant, WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Vienna Abstract
Die Finanzkrise hat zu Wachstumsverlust geführt. Dies stellt Wirtschaft und Staaten vor große Herausforderungen. Unsicherheit führt zu Zurückhaltung bei Investitionen. Neue Regeln, neue Geschäftsmodelle und mehr Integration sollen Vertrauen schaffen, nachhaltiges Wachstum fördern und ein stabiles Finanzsystem gewährleisten.
Member, Advisory Committee, Financial Market Symposium, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna Chair

Dr. Thomas HELD

Former Director, Avenir Suisse; Owner, Analysen & Strategien, Zurich

 Studium der Soziologie und Germanistik, Forschungs- und Dozententätigkeit an den Universitäten Zürich, Wien, Stanford und Berkeley in Familiensoziologie, Demographie und Lifecourse
ab 1983 Arbeiten für die Ringier AG
1985-1986 Verlagsdirektor und Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung
1986 AMP Harvard Business School
1987-1989 Mitarbeiter der Hayek Engineering AG
ab 1989 eigenes Unternehmen für "Analysen & Strategien", zahlreiche Mandate für deutsche Verlage
1994-1995 Geschäftsführer der Badischen Zeitung, Freiburg i.B.
1992-2000 Geschäftsführung für Projektierung und Bau des Kultur- und Kongresszentrums Luzern
2001-2010 Aufbau und Leitung des unabhängigen Think Tanks Avenir Suisse
seit 2011 Eigenes Büro für Beratung und Projektmanagement, Mandat für die Schweizerische Musikinsel Rheinau

PhD Prof. Zsolt DARVAS

Research Fellow, Bruegel, Brussels

1994-1998 Researcher, Central Bank of Hungary, Budapest
1998-2000 Senior Researcher, Central Bank of Hungary, Budapest
2001-2005 Deputy Head of Research Division, Central Bank of Hungary, Budapest
1994-2000 Lecturer, Corvinus University of Budapest
2001-2008 Assistant professor, Corvinus University of Budapest
since 2008 Associate professor, Corvinus University of Budapest
2005-2008 Research Adviser, Argenta ZRt Financial Research Group, Budapest
since 2008 Research Fellow, Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest
since 2009 Research Fellow, Bruegel (Brussels European and Global Economic Laboratory), Brussels


Member, Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats), European Parliament, Brussels

1996 Universität Wien, Sponsion zum Mag. phil. (Grund- und Integrativwissenschaftliche Fakultät)
1997 Hochschule St.Gallen, Sponsion zum M.B.L. (Postgraduate) (Europäisches und internationales Wirtschaftsrecht)
 Berufliche und politische Funktionen (Auszug)
2013 Donau-Universität Krems, Ehrenprofessor
1979-1981 Politischer Referent der ÖVP
1981-1995 Leitender Angestellter im Banken- und Versicherungssektor
1983-1990 Abgeordneter zum Nationalrat
1995-1999 Generalsekretär der ÖVP
seit 1999 Mitglied des Europäischen Parlaments
 Europäisches Parlament
seit 2007 Lektor, Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Universität Wien
1999-2004 Präsidiumsmitglied und Schatzmeister der EVP-Fraktion
2002-2004 Wirtschaftssprecher der EVP-Fraktion
2004-2011 Vizepräsident und Schatzmeister der EVP-Fraktion
seit 2004 Präsident der SME Intergroup
2006-2009 Obmann des ÖVP-Europaklubs
2009-2013 Präsident der Kangaroo Group
seit 2010 Berichterstattung zu Basel III und die Überarbeitung der Richtlinien über Eigenkapitalanforderungen (CRD 4)
seit 2011 Obmann des ÖVP-Europaklubs
2012-2014 Vizepräsident des Europäischen Parlaments

Mag. Dr. Karl SEVELDA

Former Chief Executive Officer, Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Vienna

1968-1973 Master's degree in Economics, University of Economics,Vienna
1973-1976 Independent Research Work for the Federal Ministry for Science and Research
1980 Doctor's degree
1977-1983 Creditanstalt-Bankverein, Corporate Finance and Export Finance
1983-1985 Secretary to the Federal Minister for Trade and Industry
1985 Creditanstalt-Bankverein London and New York
1986-1989 Head of Export Finance Department, Creditanstalt-Bankverein
1988-1989 Deputy Head of Corporate Finance Division, Creditanstalt-Bankverein
1989-1993 Head of Corporate Finance Division, Creditanstalt-Bankverein
1993-1997 Head of Multinational Corporates Division, Creditanstalt-Bankverein
1997 Head of Corporate Banking Division (in addition to a.m. responsibility), Creditanstalt-Bankverein
1998-2010 Raiffeisen Zentralbank Österreich AG: Member of the Board of Managing Directors, in charge of Corporate Customers and Corporate, Trade and Export Finance worldwide
2010-2013 Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Raiffeisen Bank International AG
2013-2017 Chief Executive Officer, Raiffeisen Bank International AG


Former Member of the Board, ECB - European Central Bank, Luxembourg; Consultant, WIFO - Austrian Institute of Economic Research, Vienna

  OeNB - Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Vienna
1975 Master's Degree in Economics and Social Sciences, University of Vienna
1981 Ph.D., University of Vienna
1981-1984 Advisor in the Cabinet of the Minister of Finance
1985-2003 Various Leadership Positions, OeNB - Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Vienna
  Austria's Alternate Governor of the International Monetary Fund
  Member of the Economic and Finance Committee
1998-2003 Vice Governor, Economics and Financial Markets Department, OeNB - Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Vienna
2003-2011 Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank, Frankfurt am Main

Dr. Rainer MÜNZ

Member, Advisory Committee, Financial Market Symposium, European Forum Alpbach, Vienna

1978 Ph.D., University of Vienna
1979-1989 Research Fellow, Austrian Academy of Sciences
1980-1998 Lecturer, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt and University of Vienna
1986-1987 Visiting Professor, University of Bamberg
1986, 1989 and 1997-1998 Visiting Professor, University of California at Berkeley
1988-1989 Visiting Professor, University of Frankfurt am Main
1989-1997 Lecturer, Technical University, Vienna
1990-1992 Director, Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Science
1992 Visiting Professor, University of Zurich
1992-2003 Head, Department of Demography, Humboldt University, Berlin
1995, 1997 Visiting Professor, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt
2000-2001 Visiting Professor, University of Vienna
2001-2002 Senior Research Fellow, Department of Mathematics of Finance, Technical University, Vienna
since 2003 Senior Fellow, HWWI - Hamburg Institute of International Economics
since 2005 Senior Researcher, Erste Group Bank AG
2008-2010 Member, Reflection Group Horizon 2020-2030, European Union
since 2009 Senior Fellow, Migration Policy Center, Washington, D.C.
since 2010 Visiting Professor, University of St. Gallen
since 2010 Member of the Advisory Committee, Alpbach Financial Market Symposium, Vienna