With Olaf Scholz, there will be no role backwards in banking regulation, neither as Federal Finance Minister nor as a possible future Federal Chancellor.

The leading candidate of the SPD in polls said on Thursday at the banking summit organized by the “Handelsblatt” that the rules had to be checked again and again.

“But they are an important contribution to ensuring that we have a stable financial system.” Therefore, there can be no roll-back on this issue.

Markus Frühauf

Editor in business.

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The day before the conference, the CEO of Deutsche Bank, Christian Sewing, had warned that European banks were falling even further in terms of market value in competition with American institutions. In addition, the European lobbies for the banking industry have been mobilizing for a long time in Brussels against the strict implementation of the international supervisory rules (Basel III). They fear that this will put European banks at a disadvantage. The heads of central banks and supervisory authorities, including Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, recently wrote to the Commission in a letter calling for implementation not to deviate from the Basel III framework.

Against this background, Scholz's statements are to be understood as a commitment to the equity and liquidity requirements issued after the financial crisis more than ten years ago. For the finance minister, the main priority is to avoid a future crisis like the one that followed the Lehman collapse in September 2008. He rejected the view that loose rules create growth. "We need clear regulation and framework conditions that contribute to security and trust in the financial industry," said Scholz.

He also picked up the Sewing Ball and advocated competitive institutes that Europe needed. Nevertheless, with a view to digitization and economically successful business models, he made it clear: “The banks have to do their homework.” It is the task of politicians to create a framework in which the banks can be successful. For Scholz, the creation of a capital markets union and the completion of the banking union are therefore high on the agenda. “It is a central issue for European sovereignty that we enable banks to look at Europe as a whole. This is of the greatest economic importance. "

But many prerequisites still need to be created for the banking union. According to Scholz, the discussion in Germany is narrowed down too much to the topic of joint deposit insurance. It is also about a common insolvency regime, the treatment of government bonds in the bank balance sheets, many regulatory issues and the better organization of cross-border activities in Europe. "The banking union represents a major step forward for European sovereignty," emphasized the finance minister.

For him, an even broader capital markets union can only succeed if it is given political priority. With the Capital Markets Union, a real internal capital market is to be created within the EU. On the other hand, some EU countries have major reservations because they fear for their national sovereignty if the rules for the financial markets are standardized. Nevertheless, Scholz called for political decisions on the banking and capital markets union not to be postponed again and again. The fragmented capital and banking markets in Europe are seen as a major obstacle to being able to compete in the financial markets with the United States and its large domestic market.

Scholz described the decisions made by the EU countries during the Corona crisis on cohesion and the establishment of the joint reconstruction fund, which is financed through EU bonds, as far-reaching. Now it is a question of how the EU can generate its own income in order to be able to redeem the bonds. In addition to trading in emission certificates, according to Scholz, there is also a financial transaction tax in the room. He is expecting proposals from the EU Commission soon.

In his opinion, the development of inflation rates should be monitored very closely. He referred to the prevailing view among most experts, including representatives of central banks, that the high inflation rates in recent months are only temporary. One must check in the coming months whether this forecast is correct. According to Scholz, the historically low interest rates have something to do with the central banks. But there are also significant financial resources available around the world that flow into government bonds, but not into investments. This money would have to be channeled into private investments with which the conversion to a climate-neutral economy could be financed.

With a view to climate change and the associated efforts, Scholz said: “A new era is beginning.” He has a very precise plan for this. There are two big issues. On the one hand, mutual respect in society and, on the other hand, industrial modernization. The SPD candidate for Chancellor promised: “I have a clear idea of ​​how we can succeed.” He and the SPD stand for a very pragmatic course in economic and financial policy. The voter will not regret it. This time too, Scholz avoided a rejection of the left's participation in a government coalition made up of the SPD and the Greens. But he reiterated his prerequisites: The parties in a governing coalition would have to commit to working with the United States and NATO, as well as a strong, sovereign EU.This is not negotiable.