In comparison to Anglo-Saxon countries the German financial system is unique. Table 7.1 compares the main features of the financial systems in Germany, the UK and the US. This illustrates that the structure of the financial system and the role of banks are different in Germany. In the market-based UK and US financial systems, financial markets play a major role. They are highly developed. There is a large number of publically listed firms, options and futures exchanges are very liquid and widely used and the market for corporate control is relatively open. Another major feature is the traditional segmentation between commercial banking, investment banking and trust fund functions in the UK and US. There is also a relatively weak long-term relationship between the banks and firms.
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