Abstract recent bank collapses as a result of the global financial crisis have highlighted the need to keep international bank supervision practices up to date with technological and product innovations in the sector. In the 1980s, coordination in international financial regulation resulted from multilateral negotiations in which states played a central role. Since then, international banking regulation has undergone significant transformation. This article probes the explanatory power of multi-level governance in the case of european bank regulation. According to the first proposition examined here, experts play an essential role in policy formulation. The second proposition stipulates that public, private and international actors participate in decision-making and shape the regulatory outcomes together with national regulators. The third proposition states that independent regulatory agencies, rather than government ministries, implement regulations and monitor compliance. The analysis is based on evidence from two new eu member states, bulgaria and hungary, that are representative of the two most common types of bank supervision organizational structure in the eu.