There are repeated calls for more consolidation in the European banking sector. The Bank of France has it clear: strength comes from the European banks merging with their neighbours on the continent.
Articles by Alexandre Mato
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Brussels is not concerned about the Spanish banks, even despite the problems of a systemic lender like Popular, in the process of being sold. The Spanish banks have shown that they have done their homework and restructured their balance sheets since receiving a European bail-out in 2012.
The country which tried to invade England in 1588 may become its best ally. After the 28 European partners held their Summit in Malta at the beginning of February, this was the Bloomberg headline regarding the relations between Madrid and London during the Brexit negotiations. But the question of Gibraltar remains a thorny one.
On Thursday, ex-President of the ECB, Jean Claude Trichet warned that the political and economic authorities would have little room to manoeuvre in the face of a new crisis after the central banks exhaust their QE.
The euro’s fourth biggest economy will not be the protagonist in long economic debates in 2017. Spain’s deficit and its domestic politics are no longer a concern for Brussels, now focused on the Brexit negotiations and worried about the complicated elections cycle in various countries.
Within the EU it is being discussed how to set up a fiscal backstop, a barrier of public money to be used in times of crisis, not just to help out a bank. One option being considered in Brussels is turning The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) into a kind of management tool for a crisis.
The European Commission (EC) opted against imposing fines on Spain and Portugal for their non-compliance with 2015 deficit targets. So Brussels did not implement the penalties equivalent to 0.2 percent of gross domestic product included in the Stability and Growth Pact for failure to comply with budget rigour. The fines would have amounted to about 2 billion euros for Spain and around €350 million for Portugal.
“The EU has to make itself attractive” in the wake of Brexit. Brussels is trying to force London to accelerate its departure process “as soon as possible, despite how painful that may be,” according to European Commission President Jean Claude Junker. During the European Summit on Tuesday, the the scenario for the new EU with 27 Member States will be presented.
Athens may need no further than €10 billion to recapitalise its main financial institutions. These are the funds in the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund to cover the sector’s requirements. Looks like in Brussels there is a broader consensus that the figures revealed by the ECB are “encouraging”.
The European Commission is trying to create a single market for capital across the continent to increase and diversify the funding sources for Europe’s business and long-term projects. In the EU, mid-sized companies received five times less money from capital markets than in the U.S.