MADRID | The Corner | European banks have increased their holdings of govies in June by +0.1% m/m (+1.4% y/y), with one somewhat higher increase in the periphery (+ 0.6% m/m and – 1.2% y/y), mostly of a +8.6% in Ireland and +1.8% of Portugal. According to the ECB, EU lenders have reached a new all-time high of 1.8trn debt holdings, while peripheral banks are approaching 2013 numbers (€830bn vs €840bn in June 2013).
Europe’s leaders avoided their usual muddling through complacency to do something radical — and it worked. Europe’s banking union, constituting a supranational pooling of most instruments of banking policy, was established over two years ago, in the early hours of June 29, 2012. To a greater extent than was initially realized by most observers, this step marked a watershed in the European crisis by making it possible for the European Central Bank (ECB) to stabilize sovereign debt markets.
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | Financial integration that will result from the European banking union will definitely help to reduce systemic risks and simplify an industry that deeply questioned during the crisis. Strengthening capital standards, as established in the Basel III framework, as well rethinking the role of the once ‘too big to fail’ entities are some of the regulatory changes, Governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Linde, explained in Madrid on Thursday.
MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | In a crucial day for the long-awaited banking union in Europe, market makers also chattered about many other issues, like the Bank of Spain -which has denied it plans to subject Spanish lenders to stress tests this month- achieving less tough criteria for Spanish banks in the upcoming EU stress tests.
MADRID | By Álex García.
MADRID | By Julia Pastor | After a 16-hour-marathon talks until 7 a.m, 28 EU states reached an agreement on the Single Resolution Mechanism in order to achieve the long-awaited banking union. But they ignore two relevant realities about the project. First, 1989’s Second EU Banking Directive already considered the same common financial tools that today are being sold as a priority and an innovation for the European construction. Furthermore, there is no point in celebrating: a French entity still does not lend money to a Greek one. This deal is not correcting the euro zone’s financial fragmentation.
MADRID | By Luis Alcaide, Luis Martí and Jaime Santisteban | Deputy Director General at the European Union’s Financial Services Nadia Calviño considers that the EBA must keep playing an important role in the coordination of the financial supervision. She believes that transparency is a key issue that must prevail within the process of the European integration in the Eurozone.
MADRID | By Jaime Santisteban | Amid the hot debate on when the banking union will be wrapped up, market makers are focusing on the main steps already taken: the ECB gets the decision-making power from the European Council and Germany tries to avoid that public money can be used in the transitional period. Link analysts don’t expect major fluctuations today, but they warn investors about some “red lights.”
MADRID | By Francisco López | Spanish banks face into the new era of banking union with their homework successfully completed, both in terms of adjustments and efficiency in the stress tests. Their balance sheets are healthy, although now a new challenge awaits: how to improve profitability in an adverse economic cycle, with rates close to 0% and with credit lending remaining worryingly low.
ATHENS | By Kostas Karkagiannis at Macropolis | In June 2012, at the height of the debt crisis in the eurozone, its leaders decided to create a banking union. Their aim was, as the conclusions of that summit stated, to: “break the vicious circle between banks and sovereigns.” In this case, the sovereigns were members of the single currency whose economies were suffering.