Britain and Europe

EU financial regulation, banking union, capital markets union and the UK

25 January 2017

Following the international financial crisis and the sovereign debt crisis, the European Union (EU) undertook major reforms in three key financial policy areas: financial regulation, Banking Union and Capital Markets Union.

Lucia Quaglia

This paper examines the dynamics of these reforms by focusing on the preferences and influence of the United Kingdom (UK) in the policy process. It is argued that the UK has played a variety of roles – ‘foot-dragger’, ‘fence-sitter’ and ‘pace-setter’ – in the policies under discussion.


The (at times considerable) British influence was geared towards the attainment of preferences that were shaped by domestic politics and political economy, first and foremost the interests of the financial services industry and the City of London.

Photo credit: r.nagy /