Topic Authorisation Banks and financial services institutions

Anyone wishing to conduct banking business or to provide financial services in Germany requires written authorisation.

Authorisation to operate a deposit-taking credit institution is granted by the European Central Bank (ECB) in consultation with BaFin, the national supervisory authority. Authorisation to conduct other banking business or to provide financial services is granted by BaFin.

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Credit institutions with a licence in any European Economic Area (EEA) country are in principle permitted to carry on their business in other member states, too. Cross-border business may be carried on either through a local branch ("freedom of establishment") or by means of free movement of services ("freedom to provide services"). If a credit institution intends to carry on cross-border activities under the freedom to provide services or freedom of establishment, the home supervisor must be notified of this intention ("notification").

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