As part of a wider project to review and assess how the stricter capital adequacy rules for banks introduced in the wake of the global financial crisis have worked in practice, the European Commission has issued this fairly brief Consultation Paper seeking the broadest possible range of market views and comment on the impact of the Capital Requirements Directive IV and Regulation (CRD IV / CRR), in particular, whether the legislation has affected the levels of capital held by banks, whether the new requirements are proportionate, their impact on smaller lenders, and whether some of the rules could be simplified without compromising financial soundness objectives. Responding in part to the specific review clauses in Articles 501, 505 and 516 CRR, which require the Commission to report on the appropriateness of the CRR in terms of providing long-term financing for the economy, and its impact on lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Commission is seeking to gain a better understanding of the impact of the new rules on the availability of financing. The Commission requests as wide a range as possible of market participants to complete its questionnaire which seeks input on around 15 questions dealing with a wide range of issues including the role of CRD IV / CRR in the recapitalisation process, capital levels across the banking system, the role of the additional "buffers", the overall lending capacity of banks, the effects of increased capital requirements, whether the market(s) for some assets have been more affected than others, whether lending to SMEs is effectively supported, whether the legislation has influenced the capacity of banks to lend to infrastructure projects, whether areas of the framework could be simplified or differentiated in their approach to banks of differing sizes and risk-profiles, and what additional measures could be taken in the area of prudential regulation to promote further integration and enhance the level playing filed. Responses to the questionnaire will feed into an initial Commission report to be published later in 2015 (that will be released during a Public Hearing), with a final report due in 2016. A detailed accompanying Annex to the Consultation Paper sets out detailed background to the introduction of CRD IV / CRR, provides an overview of the Euro-area banking sector balance sheet during 1997-2014, provides a detailed analysis of the justification for the introduction of higher capital requirements (touching briefly on the new rules for securitisations and re-securitisations under Basel II.5 and Basel III), and considers some other aspects of the prudential regulatory framework that have been introduced following the global financial crisis.