Electronic money is a relatively new payment instrument, emerged withthe progress in technology. Electronic money's popularity has been driven by a number offactors including growing complications in opening current accounts and getting payment cardsfrom traditional retail banks, changes in the population's social structure, and evolutionof the Internet into a digital workplace.
Savings banks (Säästöpankki) have been operating in Finland for almost 200 years. Savings banks are regional and local banks, focused on providing retail banking products and services to households and SMEs, including rural enterprises, via both physical bank office channels and their supporting electronic channels.
Cooperative banks operating in Finland form the core part of OP Financial Group and promote the sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing of its owners, customers, local communities and provide modern and competitive banking services to local households, SMEs, agricultural and forestry customers and public-sector entities.
Cooperative credit institutions (CCIs) are represented in Cyprus by Cooperative Credit Group, consisting of Cyprus Cooperative Bank, the CCIs and companies specialized in trading activities. Cyprus Cooperative Bank together with the CCIs provide a broad range of retail banking and insurance products to natural persons, farmers and companies.
Savings banks are represented in Hungary by local savings banks and TakarékBank, acting as the central institution of these banks with its primary task is to coordinate business activities of these banks. Savings banks are focused on providing a broad range of retail banking and insurance products to domestic individuals and companies.
Savings and Loan Associations (SLAs, est: Hoiu-laenuühistu) are cooperative financial institutions established to provide modern financial services to their members. Savings and loan associations are focused on providing deposits and loans to its members, but they have started offering other financial services, such as leasing, guarantees, factoring, financial advisory services, and online payments.
Credit unions in Latvia operate as financial co-operatives ownded and managed by its members, connected by a common bond of a residential, professional organizational nature. The range of products and services provided by the credit unions include deposits, loans, payment services, financial leasing, financial advising.
Credit unions in Lithuania operate as co-operative organizations providing financial services to its members, connected by a common bond of a residential, professional organizational nature. Products and services provided by the credit unions include online banking, MasterCard and Maestro payment cards, payments, loans, deposits, direct debits, both international and local money transfers.
Cooperative banks have been present in Poland for more than a hundred years and are now representated by two Polish banking groups: Spółdzielcza Grupa Bankowa and Bank Polskiej Spółdzielczosci. Committed to the sustainable development of local communities, local cooperative banks in Poland operate as universal banks, offering a wide range of retail, corporate banking and insurance products and services to private individuals, business entities, farmers and local authorities.
A credit union is a group of individuals connected by a common bond of a residential, professional organizational nature for the purpose of providing banking services to the group's members. Credit unions (pl: Spółdzielcza Kasa Oszczędnościowo - Kredytowa, SKOK) have been present in Poland since 1992, delivering their products and services via a branch network of more than 1000 branches and through the Internet.
Coöperatieve Rabobank UA (commonly known as Rabobank Nederland) is the second-largest bank in the Netherlands and the head bank of Rabobank Group, an international financial services provider, active in the areas of banking, asset management, leasing, insurance and real estate. In 2014 Rabobank announced its intentions to review its existing cooperative structure to address the changes in supervision and regulation requirements.
Cooperative banks are represented in Portugal by Crédito Agrícola Group, having over 100 years of history, generating value for members, customers, local communities and employees. Crédito Agrícola Group provides financial products and services via local cooperative banks (Caixas de Crédito Agrícola Mútuo) as well as its specialized institutions, covering the following areas: retail, SME, corporate and investment banking, life- and non-life- insurance, asset management, private equity.
Since the 1980s Malta has followed a strategy of developing a financial services centre and over the last decade has transformed its banking sector from a tightly controlled publicly owned sector to the diversified and efficiently regulated one with high degree of liberalization and foreign ownership.
Cooperative banks present in Germany for more than 150 years, combining financial success with social resposibility. Cooperative banks operate as universal banks, owned by its customers via shares, focusing on providing retail banking products and services to private individuals, self-employed professionals and SMEs.
Savings banks in Germany (Sparkassen) form the essential part of the Savings Banks Finance Group (Sparkassen-Finanzgruppe). Operating as universal credit institutions, Savings Banks conduct all standard banking operations and provide basic financial services and personalised advice to approximately 50 million customers nationwide.
Volksbank credit cooperatives are the core part of Volksbank Group, a cooperative banking group specialized in providing retail banking products and services to private individuals, self-employed professionals and SMEs in Austria.
Savings banks in Austria are represented by Erste Bank der oesterreichischen Sparkassen AG and local savings banks (subsidiaries of Erste Bank). Traditionally for savings banks, core business areas of savings banks in Austria are deposits and lending provided to private customers, business customers and public authorities.
Raiffeisen Credit Cooperatives form the essential part of Raiffeisen Banking Group, a universal banking group, providing a comprehensive range of banking products and services in Austria and Eastern European countries. Specialized on providing retail banking products and services to its domestic market, Raiffeisen Credit Cooperatives have market share of around 25%.
Spain is one of the most popular destinations for expats around the world, especiallythose looking to retire. Although it's possible to live in Spain as a foreigner without having a local bank account,a bank account is needed to buy a property, pay household bills or buy an insurance policy.
By the end of 2018, 96 jurisdictions will automatically exchange information on financial accounts for tax purposes. Hence, there still will be more than 100 jurisdictions which will not exchange the information automatically.
On 29 October 2014, 51 jurisdictions signed a multilateral agreement to automatically exchange information on financial accounts and 44 more joined the agreement during the following years. This is the first ever agreement to exchange this type of information automatically.
Traditionally dominated by domestic investors, Dutch housing markethas started attracting international investors as well. The Dutch government has taken severalmeasures to promote housing financing through mortgages, for example introducing of tax deduction on mortgage interest payments, providingNHG-backed mortgages, supporting a network of independent mortgage advisers.
Danish banking sector is characterized by large size in terms of total assets, high degree of concentration, and prevailing share of domestic banks over foreign-controlled banks. These characteristics are applied to major banks in Denmark as well.
Monaco is one of the world wealthiest nations in terms of GDP per capita withfinancial and insurance activities, being main contributors to its GDP.High concentration is high-net-worth individuals influences business focus of banks operatingin Monaco: Monegasque banks traditionally specializes in providing private banking,asset and wealth management services.
Despite carrying substantial risks and lacking innovative banking products especially in private and investment banking, Montenegro is becoming an increasingly popular offshore banking destination. Montenegrin banks offer a variety of services for non-residents in retail and corporate banking, know-your-customer procedures are simple and straightforward, and Montenegro doesn't participate in Automatic Information Exchange.
Banking and financial services is one of the main industries of Luxembourg. Favorable legislation and taxation, stable social and economic environment make Luxembourg an attractive destination for foreign financial institutions.
Out of about 100 banks operating in the Netherlands, 3 largest banks account for two thirds of total banking assets with 7 next lagrest banks adding about 5%. The high degree of concentration combined with the diversity of products and services provided by these banks underlines the importance of these banks in the Dutch banking landscape.
The Cayman Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom, with one of the highest per capita incomes in the Caribbean. Since 1960s, the Cayman Islands transformed itself into a significant offshore financial center and a major supplier of cross-border financial services, particularly in banking.
Building societies are an important player in British housing finance, having their total market share of about 20% in mortgage lending. Building societies provide a wide range of mortgage and savings products to their customers at competitive interest rates.
The Channel Islands are a group of islands situated in the English Channel, consisting of two British Crown dependencies: the Bailiwick of Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Over the recent decades, banks have played a key role in the development of the Channel Islands as an international financial centre.
Located in Northern Europe, Estonia is a developed country with high-income economy. Estonian banking sector is relatively small, highly concentrated, with high share of foreign capital; large banks in Estonia operate as universal banks, covering a wide range of market segments, while smaller banks concentrate on a specific range of services.
Bulgarian banking sector is characterized by relatively small size, small number of banks with wide business focus, high degree of concentration and high share of foreign capital. 8 major banks in Bulgaria make up about 75% of total banking assets.
The Isle of Man is a well established international banking and finance center; banks operating on the Isle of Man cover the areas of retail banking, commercial banking, private and expatriate banking and offer their products and services to a broad range of clients.
Credit unions have been in existence in Ireland for more then 50 years, they play an important role in the Irish financial sector. There are around 380 registered credit unions with total assets of €14,3 bln (2014) providing services to over 3 mln members.
In 2015 banks in Switzerland faced negative interest rates and currency interventions of Swiss National Bank as well as tightened capital requirements and anti tax avoidance regulations. This made the banks shift their business focus from international private banking to domestic retail and corporate banking.
Cantonal Banks, accounting about 30% of Swiss banking sector, are universal canton-owned banks, specializing in retail and corporate banking products for the residents of their canton. Liabilities of the majority of the Cantonal Banks are guaranteed by the owning canton.
On Friday, 29 July 2016, European Banking Authority (EBA) published the results of EU-wide stress test of the largest European banks. The stress test 2016 assessed 51 banks from 15 EU and EEA countries.
Latvia is a small but an important offshore banking center in the European Union. Latvian banks offer a variety of services for non-residents in retail, private and corporate banking as well as online trading and brokerage, know-your-customer procedures are simple and straightforward, several banks offer online account opening.
Deposit Guarantee Schemes compensate certain deposits (so called eligible deposits) held by depositors of a bank in the case of the bank failure. This article summarises details about deposit guarantee schemes the most important from a depositor's point of view.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which became law in 2010 in the United States, is important achievement in US efforts to cope with tax evasion by US taxpayers having their accounts and other financial assets outside of the US. For now, almost all European countries have signed Intergovernmental Agreements to facilitate FATCA-reporting or have their financial institutions registered with the Internal Revenue Service (tax authority of the United States).
Financial crisis 2008/2009 followed by sovereign debt crisis, triggered radical transformations in the world financial markets. Swiss banks are successfully adopting their strategies to the new environment: althought the number of banks decreased in 2014, the aggregated annual profit and total assets continued to increase.
Cooperative banks are non-for-profit organizations providing financial services to its members and serving the needs of local community. In Italy the nework of cooperative banks consists of nearly 400 banks with more than 4000 branches operating in about 100 provinces and 2700 municipalities.
While European Central Bank started to directly supervise 123 significant banks of the Euroarea countries, there are more than 6,000 banks operating in the European Union left for the supervision by their National Supervisors. This makes transparency of information provided by the National Supervisors about individual banks an important factor contributing to the transparency of the whole European financial system.
Corporate banking is providing banking and financial services to business clients and non-commercial organizations. Corporate banking covers a variety of business needs with a full range of financial solutions: payments cash management, financing, managing surplus, debt and equity management.
Retail banking is a key component of banking industry, offering mass-market banking services to natural persons and small businesses. Retail banking provides three important functions to its clients: credit, deposits and money management.
Private banking is banking, investment and other financial services provided by banks to high-net-worth individuals having high levels of income or sizable assets. Products and services provided by the bank are rendered on a more personal basis than in mass-market retail banking.
In December 2014 the Bank of England published the results of the stress test of major British credit institutions. The test covered 8 banks and assessed the impact of a variant of the EU-wide adverse scenario.
In October 2014 European Central Bank conducted an assessment of 130 major European banks from 19 countries. The assessment consisted of two parts: asset quality review and stress test.
Several European countries have dependent territories which are geographically separated from these countries. Amongst more than 30 such territories, only 10 provide offshore financial services.