It is important to ensure that the direction towards banking union is maintained. However it is equally important that the impact of changes that banking union brings in its wake are tracked in an effective way, for corrective measures to be taken as necessary and quickly, not when it is too late. It cannot simply be assumed that moves towards banking union will be uniformly beneficial. To the contrary, if seen as ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions, such changes may not effectively address the different economic and financial realities present in Member States. More attention should be paid to the impact of the new rules introduced with the Banking Union, especially on the changing operating costs of banks and on bank lending propensities, in view of the investment gap that has persisted in the Union over the past years. An in-depth study of the impact of the banking union as it is being implemented on bank credit in general and SMEs in particular, needs to be carried out with the aim of mitigating any negative consequences in this regard. Most importantly, we should ensure that the needs of certain Member States are not taking into account at the expense of other Member States.

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