Skip to content

Competition Policy in the Framework and Application of State Aid in the Banking Sector

Jochem de Kok

The Crisis Communications provided for an extensive framework under which the Commission analyzed state aid to banks in the context of the financial crisis. All State aid decisions were built on three pillars: viability, burden sharing and competition. In order to minimize distortions of competition, the Commission imposed significant structural and behavioral measures. The reasoning of the Commission’s decisions in the Dutch banking sector shows that the rationale behind several measures was to sanction risk taking and mismanagement, and to restructure the banking sector as a whole. Furthermore, the imposition of behavioral measures, in particular price leadership prohibitions designed to minimize distortions of competition, paradoxically appear to have further distorted competition in the Dutch banking sector. All in all, the overall lack of a sophisticated economic assessment of the measures imposed by the Commission raises serious doubts regarding the suitability and proportionality of the unprecedented State aid decisions during the financial crisis.
Keywords: Crisis Communications; competition law; competition policy; State aid; SRM; BRRD; banking sector; financial crisis

LLM Candidate at the University of Cambridge. This article was written for the completion of the Research Master in Law (LLM, cum laude) at the University of Groningen. The author would like to thank Prof. Dr. H.H.B. Vedder, Dr. S.E. Weishaar and the anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments; the responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


Lx-Number Search

(e.g. A | 000123 | 01)

Export Citation