EUROPE – European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet has identified higher demand for pensions as one of the factors behind the growth of financial markets.

“The factors that have stimulated the growth of financial markets are manifold,” Trichet said last night.

“These include, among other things, advancements in technology, deregulation, increasing wealth and demographic changes that boosted the demand for private pension schemes.

“In addition, the launch of the euro further bolstered capital market growth in the euro area, mainly through substantially improved market liquidity.”

He was speaking at the European Financial Markets Convention in Brussels organised by the Federation of European Securities Exchanges.

Other speakers included Henrik Bjerre-Nielsen, chairman of CEIOPS, the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors and National Association of Pension Funds chief executive Christine Farnish.

Trichet flagged up the challenge of population ageing and pension systems in the bank’s monthly press conference on monetary policy in January.

He said there was a need throughout the European Union “to address the considerable challenges that population ageing poses to existing pension and social security systems”.