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European Parliament approves 'banking union' reforms

The European Parliament approved on Tuesday the last elements of a new set of rules to prevent failing banks from ever again driving EU member states into bankruptcy. With 'banking union' passed, "we now have in place a true European system to supervise the eurozone banks and deal with any future failures," EU Financial Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said.

ECB ready to act if needed, but new measures bring risks: Weidmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank stands ready to act if needed to stop euro zone inflation getting stuck at low levels, though any new measures would bring risks that must be carefully assessed, Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said. Weidmann, the leading hawk on the ECB's 24-member Governing Council, played down the possibility of the euro zone slipping into a deflationary spiral but said ECB policymakers were watching price pressures closely.

ECB holds key rate steady at 0.25%

The European Central Bank held its key interest rates steady as widely expected on Thursday. The ECB left its central "refi" or refinancing rate unchanged at 0.25 percent at its monthly policy meeting, it said in a statement. The central bank also held its other two key rates -- the marginal lending rate and the deposit rate -- unchanged at 0.75 percent and zero percent respectively. Few market players had been expecting the central bank to ease monetary conditions in the 18 countries that share the euro, despite the worryingly low level of inflation.

ECB's Weidmann says euro zone not in deflationary cycle

By Patrick Graham BERLIN (Reuters) - The euro zone is not in a deflationary cycle and the European Central Bank (ECB) should not overreact to a slowdown in inflation caused largely by cyclical factors which should prove temporary, Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann said on Saturday. The comments from the head of Germany's central bank, also a member of the ECB's governing council, follow remarks last week which investors interpreted as a softening of long-held German resistance to more radical action to support growth.

ECB tested as push-bank against bank review rules begins

By Laura Noonan FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's (ECB) determination to subject the euro zone's largest banks to the same, rigorous checks is being tested, with countries lobbying for their banks to be treated differently and lenders asking for their workload to be eased.

Factbox: Key facts about Europe's banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europe struck a deal on Thursday to complete a banking union with an agency to shut failing euro zone banks, but there will be no joint backstop for a fund to pay the costs of closures. Following are key facts about the agreement. For a story, click What is banking union? * Banking union was shaped in part by Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank, but it falls short of his vision.

Bankers fear leaks from ECB health check

By Andreas Kröner FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Euro zone bankers are worried that sensitive information will leak out before the official publication of the bloc's review of bank balance sheets, triggering speculation and making investors uneasy. The European Central Bank is putting the euro zone's 128 largest banks through a rigorous health check before it becomes their supervisor in November and plans to publish the results in one go in October to avoid market disruption.

ECB to take tough stance in bank health check

By Eva Taylor FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Central Bank (ECB) will press banks to revalue their assets and take a more realistic view on likely losses when it probes their balance sheets in coming months, signaling a new, more aggressive era of banking supervision in the bloc.

EU finance ministers look for compromise on bank regulation

EU finance ministers met on Tuesday to find a compromise with the European Parliament on how to wind up failing banks before they can damage the wider economy. Ministers going into the talks voiced cautious optimism that some progress on 'banking union' was being made but stressed the need to get an agreement they can put before MEPs who oppose the current plans. "Today we will not leave the room unless we get a revised mandate to negotiate with the European Parliament," Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said.

ECB to reveal bad loan hurdles for euro zone bank test: sources

By Laura Noonan DUBLIN (Reuters) - The European Central Bank's stance on how bad loans are defined will be one of the biggest revelations to the euro zone's largest banks when it details on Tuesday how it will test balance sheets, three sources with knowledge of the tests told Reuters.
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