The European retail structured products market has the top position in terms of worldwide sales. The European market is estimated to have garnered €180bn ($226bn) in gross sales in 2009, down 13% from the previous year.

This overall European sales figure hides wide disparities. While there have been some attempts at pan-European harmonization, the market is still very diverse, each country having developed a market primarily reflecting local regulatory, distribution, and investment-preference constraints.

Italy and Spain have traditionally dominated the European league in terms of structured products sales, but other countries (Germany, Switzerland and the UK) have experienced strong growth in the past few years, and have now gross sales levels comparable to the ones seen in these two countries. As of 2009, the top five European markets (Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the UK) account for some 75% of total gross sales volumes across Europe.

A brief review of the main European markets is included here. For a more in-depth analysis of these markets, please email us for information on our latest comprehensive European Research Report.