The ECB will stop injecting liquidity into the system next December. This leaves Eurozone banks in a slightly odd situation: returning to “normality” after years of atypical measures. The withdrawal of QE will have different impacts on different countries, depending on the characteristics of the models of their banking business.
Eurozone banks are currently keeping 690 billion euros at their central bank, according to the ECB’s last figures. While the European Commission aims to achieve by end-2018 a completed banking union, this an evidence of a more fragmented market. Are lenders suspicious of their refinancing capability in order to honour their debts? And why is Ewald Nowotny asking to cut them some slack?
The Spanish banks’ non-performing loans (NPLs) ratio fell to 10.35% in November (10.56% in October), with total bad loans standing at 138.894 billion euros. But this simple figure encapsulates the eternal problems of statistics. The fact is that the average NPL figure provided by the Bank of Spain does not reflect the significant differences between the banks.
Guntram B. Wolff via Caixin | The European Commission recently presented its proposals for European bank deposit insurance. Officials hope to stabilize the banking system and decouple bank financing costs from any solvency issues affecting their host states. This would achieve the original aim of a proposed banking union by breaking the link between states and their banking systems.
JOHN BRUTON | With a refugee crisis, a banking union and the prospect of a Brexit, the European Union is faced with a host of questions. The situation was described at the EPP Congress as the “most serious crisis for the European Union since its creation.” This is not an exaggeration.
Venture capital market is still relatively undeveloped in Spain, experts from La Caixa research argue. This kind of investment in Spanish firms totalled 280 million euros (0.03% of GDP) in 2014, clearly below the volumes of the US (0.17% of GDP).
BRUSSELS | May 7, 2015 | By Alexandre Mato | Plans to spin off Deutsche Bank’s retail business is the latest rumour to emerge from a changing European banking sector eagerly looking for ways to be more profitable under Basel III regulations. Too big to fail institutions are worried about a decline in their margins because of the low interest rates outlook. For these lenders, breaking up their investment and commercial business, as well as going on a shopping spree within the sector, seem to be solutions for growth.
April 6, 2015 | Guest post by Jean Tirole | Embroiled with the Greek crisis, European policymakers will soon have to step back and reflect on the broader question of the future of the Eurozone. Before calling for an exit or, on the contrary, for further integration, it is worth pondering over the consequences of each option.
STOCKHOLM | By Wang Liwei via Caixin | 2014 Nobel Prize in economics Jean Tirole has been working on ways to tame powerful companies and tailor government regulations to different industries since the 80s. He speaks to Caixin about market regulation, eurozone banks and their sovereign.
BRUSSELS | By Alexandre Mato | The outcome of the stress tests led by the ECB and EBA showed that there are important weaknesses in the Italian and Greek financial sectors. 7 out of the 13 institutions that had to raise capital come from both countries. Perhaps, the era of restructuring are not yet behind us and the sector needs still more integration.