The economic and financial crisis has affected the ability of the EU financial sector to channel funds towards the real economy. Heavy dependence on bank intermediation, combined with bank deleveraging and reduced investor confidence, has reduced funding to the economy. Firms in Europe rely on bank funding for approximately 85% of their funding needs, with the remainder coming from capital markets, while in the US the split is 45/55. At same time, the European Commission is trying to offer a clear solution to the problems raised by the banks that are too big to fail, too costly to save and too complex to resolve.
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EPICENTER, the European Policy Information Center, is an independent initiative of six leading think tanks from across the European Union. It seeks to inform the EU policy debate and promote the principles of a free society by bringing together the economic expertise of its members.