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Varieties of Lobbying? The Strategies of British and German Banks during the Development of the Capital Requirements Directive

John Paul Salter

Empirical work on lobbying in the EU has often neglected the importance of national institutional structures in determining firms' strategies, instead privileging explanations which focus on micro-level factors. Furthermore, the literature has yet to embrace the recent developments in the EU's regulatory apparatus, which has altered the opportunity structure firms operate in and significantly extended the 'single European regulatory space' (Levi-Faur, 2011).This paper addresses these concerns by examining the lobbying efforts of British and German banks during the development of the fourth Capital Requirements Directive. It also seeks to integrate the literatures on lobbying and regulatory governance more closely, arguing that the layering of European regulatory practices over domestic contexts has important consequences for the way firms interact with their various regulators.Drawing on a 'varieties of capitalism' approach, the paper proposes a set of hypotheses which outline important theoretical reasons why banks from these two countries might adopt differing strategies. Preliminary data (gathered from surveys, documents and interviews) are then presented which broadly support the hypotheses. However, they also point to further analysis required to account for variations in strategy among specific sections of the legislative package.

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