Dark days: The IMF stated that Germany’s Deutsche Bank presented more threat to the global financial system than any other lender
Europe’s banking sector is prepared for chaos, with Italian giants eager for a bailout and Germany’s biggest lender regarded as a threat to the world economy.
In Italy, politicians implored the European Union for authorization to bail out struggling lenders sitting on more than £300bn of bad loans.
At the same time, Portugal – long feared to be a future flashpoint in the eurozone crisis – has been pressed to double down on austerity measures in the unstable times ahead.
And the International Monetary Fund stated that Germany’s Deutsche Bank presented more danger to the global financial system than any other lender.
Issues were already raging over Italian banks because of the huge amounts of dangerous credit on their books.
It led to the launch of a £4bn privately-backed rescue fund in April to shore up struggling lenders, but there were fears this still probably won’t be enough.
The country’s issues are compounded by EU state aid rules which avert its government from stepping in. And in spite of increasingly frantic demands for wriggle room from Italian ministers, eurozone bosses were declining to budge last night.
Italy is perceived to have asked for flexibility in light of Brexit but the pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was questioned about the problem at an EU summit. ‘We can’t come up with new rules every two years,’ she stated in response.
It echoes the perspective of the European Commission, which oversees finance and competition guidelines.
‘The commission is ready to help but so far it has not been convinced by what has been proposed in Italy,’ an official explained to Reuters.
‘Can the Italians really prove that there is a systemic problem caused by the British vote? I don’t know. There is a special impact on the banks, this is true, but everyone has been affected, not just Italy.’
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi mentioned he was assured savings could be protected under existing rules. Nevertheless, Italy is not the only nation believed to be at risk from the vote.
Portugal’s left-wing government has been pressed to reduce costs by the IMF. The country, that is in the throes of a long recovery, was advised to tighten up its belt to ‘improve the economy’s resilience to shocks’.
IMF specialists cautioned Portuguese growth would be 1 per cent this year and 1.1 per cent the year after, and claimed its public debts – the largest in the eurozone – were a cause for worry.
This presents a issue for the nation’s anti-austerity socialist government. The IMF stated there had been a ‘regrettable’ lack of progress on public sector reforms, and called for a ‘stable and predictable tax system’.
In more conservative Germany, the IMF stated Deutsche Bank’s close links to other major lenders made it a danger to the world economy.
This indicates that if it collapsed, the ripple effects would be felt across the world.
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