“We hope ideas found inside help shape a sustainable European financial services structure and a strong European Union.”

Chris De Noose

ESBG Managing Director

Opening Message


ESBG members have long formed an integral part of the European model of the social market economy: efficient, high-performance institutions, close to the citizen and geared towards economic and social sustainability. They demonstrate that now and have done so since they were founded 200 years ago. Their work in local communities provides a profound contribution to European policies such as in regional policy, SME policy, environmental policy and social policy. We regard ourselves as an essential part of the European economic and social model, and approach profit maximisation in a way that resists the pull to fall into the cold abyss of capital markets.

To help this model continue to thrive, the European Union has its responsibilities. It starts with strengthening banking structures that have evolved over time, such as savings, retail, private and cooperative banks. To do this – and to defend our European way of life – it must be anchored by proportionality, subsidiarity and room for diversity. By doing this, we ensure a robust retail banking sector that ultimately benefits EU citizens and the European Union.

Inside this handbook, the savings and retail banking story unfolds. Contained in it are ideas and positions crafted by ESBG on a host of pressing policy topics designed to help shape a sustainable European financial services structure and a strong European Union. Designed to help gain better understanding, it explains what is at stake, even on sometimes rather technical issues. We invite you to continue the fruitful dialogue between the ESBG and the European institutions and to seek us out on any additional information you would require.

Opening message


ESBG members have long formed an integral part of the European model of the social market economy: efficient, high-performance institutions, close to the citizen and geared towards economic and social sustainability. They demonstrate that now and have done so since they were founded 200 years ago. Their work in local communities provides a profound contribution to European policies such as in regional policy, SME policy, environmental policy and social policy. We regard ourselves as an essential part of the European economic and social model, and approach profit maximisation in a way that resists the pull to fall into the cold abyss of capital markets.

To help this model continue to thrive, the European Union has its responsibilities. It starts with strengthening banking structures that have evolved over time, such as savings, retail, private and cooperative banks. To do this – and to defend our European way of life – it must be anchored by proportionality, subsidiarity and room for diversity. By doing this, we ensure a robust retail banking sector that ultimately benefits EU citizens and the European Union.

Inside this handbook, the savings and retail banking story unfolds. Contained in it are ideas and positions crafted by ESBG on a host of pressing policy topics designed to help shape a sustainable European financial services structure and a strong European Union. Designed to help gain better understanding, it explains what is at stake, even on sometimes rather technical issues. We invite you to continue the fruitful dialogue between the ESBG and the European institutions and to seek us out on any additional information you would require.

Chris De Noose

ESBG Managing Director

“We hope ideas found inside help shape a sustainable European financial services structure and a strong European Union.”