EU needs ‘counterweight to US capital market machine’

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan voiced support for a Capital Markets Union in Europe during a panel discussion at the German Banking Congress in Berlin.

“It is important that Europe builds a counterweight to the US capital market machine,” said Cryan.

Europe’s capital markets remain relatively underdeveloped and fragmented.

The panel, which included European Commission vice president Valdis Dombrovskis, Frankfurt-based finance professor Jan Pieter Krahnen, and Single Resolution Board chair Elke Koenig, debated how Europe could establish a single market for financial services to boost Europe’s economy and stimulate investment.

Despite Brexit, Cryan said he remained optimistic about the project “but there is an awful lot of work to do.”

Cryan said: “Capital Markets Union will stimulate investment in small and midsize companies and make the financial system more stable.”

Cryan said prices for banking products in Europe were “very low” compared to the US so “we need to be even better and more efficient.”

After the failed attempt of Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange to merge, Cryan said “Europe needs a trading venue” or risks seeing “American capital markets dominance develop further.”

Cryan warned that there are still too many banks in Europe and he expects the sector to consolidate,.

On Deutsche Bank’s stance on consolidation, he said: “We are not thinking about it. There are plenty of other things to think about.”