Home / EU Sozialdialog / Sectoral ESD / Banking


Workers’ representatives

UNI-Europa FINANCE (formerly Euro-FIET) (2000)


Employers’ representatives

European Banking Federation (EBF) (1960)


European Savings Banks Group (ESBG) (1963)


European Association of Co-operative Banks (EACB) (1970)


Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC)

Informal working group:




Rules of procedure:


Work programme:


General overview

The role of banks in the economy is to carry out monetary transactions, e.g. taking in deposits from individuals, granting commercial loans and financing productive investments. During the 1990s the banking world in Europe underwent the “3-D” revolution: deregulation, disintermediation and despecialisation. Nowadays banks can offer their customers the full range of financial services, including savings, loans, mortgages, insurance and securities. Their activities have come in for close scrutiny from the national and European legislators since the financial crisis of 2008-2009.

Participants and challenges

Nationally, trade unions are well established in the banking sector on the whole, and social dialogue can be regarded as a factor of industrial peace. At European level the social partners embarked on European social dialogue in 1990 in an informal working group; these talks then continued within the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee (SSDC), established in November 1999.


The European banking sector has engaged in European social dialogue since 1990, first of all informally (1990-1999), and latterly on a formal footing within a SSDC. Only six joint texts have been adopted during those twenty years, and that achievement was confined to the period 1998-2005. Just one of these six documents constitutes a first-level reciprocal commitment: the 2005 recommendation on corporate social responsibility, although its follow-up procedures appear particularly weak.

Joint texts

The “banking” sectoral social dialogue has resulted, since 1998, in the adoption of 6 joint texts.

ETUI and Observatoire Social Européen (2010) European Sectoral Social Dialogue Factsheets. Project coordinated by Christophe Degryse, online publication available at www.worker-participation.eu/EU-Social-Dialogue/Sectoral-ESD