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Heike Mai

More documents written by Heike Mai

8 Documents
September 13, 2017
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Money market funds in the euro area managed assets worth EUR 1.16 trillion in mid-2017. Low interest rates did not hamper the impressive growth by EUR 260 billion during the past three years. But new EU regulation taking effect in 2018 will impose stricter rules on fund managers. However, the measured regulation will probably not cause a major restructuring of the euro area market, in contrast to the reshuffling seen in response to the US money market fund reform. In the future, Brexit could lead to competition for non-EUR denominated money market fund business between the EU and the UK. [more]
June 22, 2017
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With the growing use of digital payments, the need for physical cash is no longer self-evident. But: Demand for euro cash is on the rise. Euro cash in circulation tripled between 2003 and 2016 to EUR 1.2 trillion and thus, grew faster than GDP at current prices. It is estimated that euro cash is used for domestic payments, hoarded for saving purposes and held outside the euro area at roughly equal parts. [more]
November 23, 2016
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Despite a growing role of electronic payments, demand for cash is on the rise in Europe. Euro cash in circulation has increased to EUR 1.1 trillion, three times as much as in 2003. Cash limits the power of monetary authorities, provides data protection and can therefore act as a guarantor of civil liberties. On the other hand, it is often associated with a stronger shadow economy, even though the shift towards a cashless society seems to trigger higher levels of card fraud. [more]
February 23, 2016
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Despite a small dip in Q3 2015, the assets of financial institutions in the euro area are still broadly at a record level of about EUR 66 trillion. The financial sector – composed of banks, insurance companies & pension funds, and “shadow banks” – more than doubled its size over the past 15 years. Shadow banks have grown the most and now represent 40% of the financial sector with assets estimated at EUR 26 trillion. [more]
February 4, 2016
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In 2014, for the first time, the number of cashless payments in the euro area did not grow – according to ECB figures. The transaction volume remained flat at 68 bn payments. However, this is due to an overhaul of the statistical methodology which caused breaks in many of the series. Corrected for this, there was actually a strong development of the market: cashless payments grew by about 7% yoy or almost 5 bn transactions. This growth rate is even at the upper end of growth in recent years. [more]
December 9, 2015
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As digital processes reshape commerce and social life, payment service providers are striving to offer users instruments to transfer funds in a way that matches this immediacy and ubiquity. With the payments market in such a flux, the ECB is pushing banks to provide at least one pan-European instant payment solution in order to prevent a re-fragmentation of the Single Euro Payments Area. However, instant services can be based on different technical set-ups: closed-loop, open-loop and decentralised payment networks. There is an opportunity for new technologies and providers to cater for user needs and win market share. Innovation in instant payments will not alter the economics of payments, though. Positive network externalities and economies of scale in electronic processing will probably lead to a consolidation around a few instant payment systems in the long run. [more]
February 26, 2015
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Money market funds are important financial players in Europe and the US, offering investors capital preservation and daily liquidity on the one hand, while providing short-term funding in money markets on the other. However, the European and US markets differ in their structures and economic functions: In Europe, where the market is split into two distinct segments, MMFs’ balance sheets reflect to a large degree intermediation within the financial sector and a strong investment focus on bank debt. In the US, by contrast, a homogeneous set of industry standards exists and MMFs’ business is geared more towards direct intermediation between non-financial sectors. [more]