The introduction of the euro has led to renewed attention for monetary transmission in the European Union. This special issue of the Journal of Banking and Finance includes papers that contribute to the development of both the theory and empirical applications of the monetary transmission channel that assumes various types of imperfections. The issue includes papers that can best be described by the credit view and studies on concentration and competition in the European banking industry. This introduction positions the papers in this active field of research. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.