Martin Boďa, Emília Zimková
Several factors may be earmarked as vital to smooth and successful working of a developed economy; and one of these factors is the financial system, which provides valuable services to the economy and its stability is always deemed imperative to the stability of the entire economy (e.g. Beck et al., 2014, p. 1-2). This laudatory statement is by no manner diminished by the fact that there is – at it happens – a scattered mosaic of opposing opinions to what extent a sound financial system is actually important to economic growth (Levine, 1997; Thiel, 2001). The key function of the financial system in an economy is “to channel savings to investment” (Thiel, 2001, p. 7), or – putting it differently – to connect agents with surplus funds to those who are in deficit, which are merely two different ways to describe the essence of financial intermediation. The definition is suggestive that financial intermediation should be assessed by comparing how surplus funds are matched against deficit needs.