Correspondent, Brussels
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Oct 29, 2014

Banks see upswing in loan demand across euro zone

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Around one in five banks across the euro zone expect companies to approach them for more credit as the year draws to a close, with those in Germany and France most optimistic, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday.

The upbeat forecast bodes well for an improvement in the bloc, where economic growth has been grinding to a virtual halt. Much of the blame for the slowdown has been blamed on a dearth of credit to firms to expand their businesses.

Oct 27, 2014

ECB stimulus may lack desired scale, QE an option: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank’s plan to buy private sector assets may fall short of its goal and pressure is likely to build for bolder action early next year, with government bond purchases an option, ECB sources said.

The euro zone’s central bank started buying covered bonds last week and plans to buy asset-backed securities (ABS), or bundled loans, later this year — both with a view to fostering lending to businesses and thereby supporting the bloc’s economy.

Oct 24, 2014

25 European banks set to fail health checks: sources

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A group of 25 banks have failed European health checks, while up to 10 of those continue to have a capital shortfall, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday, providing a snapshot of the health of the region’s lenders.

The health checks, led by the European Central Bank, found that banks in countries including Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Portugal had fallen short of a minimum capital benchmark at the end of last year and that up to 10 remained in difficulty now, the sources said.

Oct 23, 2014

Big bang, not big bucks, the key for euro zone bank lending

DUBLIN/FRANKFURT, Oct 23 (Reuters) – If the European Central
Bank really wants to kick-start the euro zone economy, it should
ensure the bloc’s banks are up to the task of lending.

The International Monetary Fund has estimated that nearly
three-quarters of euro zone banks need to significantly change
their business models before they will be able to meet the
demand for credit when the economy recovers.

Oct 20, 2014

Germany risks recession, in Bundesbank’s bleak outlook

FRANKFURT, Oct 20 (Reuters) – Germany risks coming
dangerously close to recession, the central bank said on Monday
in a forecast that predicted little or no economic growth in the
second half of the year.

In the Bundesbank’s gloomy assessment, the euro zone’s
biggest economy will stay weak, compounding the problems of the
18-country bloc, where the economy is already slowing to a
virtual halt.

Oct 16, 2014

ECB eyes extra funding to Greek banks as market plunge rocks Athens

ATHENS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will loosen its rules on collateral quality to give Greek banks access to more funding, a Greek central bank official said, to help keep them steady following a plunge in Greek stocks and bonds.

Another person familiar with the matter said the ECB was set to discuss loosening collateral rules for Greek banks at a meeting of policymakers on Thursday.

Oct 14, 2014

Europe’s top court weighs German challenge to ECB

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Europe’s top court on Tuesday
heard a challenge to the European Central Bank’s landmark
bond-buying scheme to contain the euro zone crisis in a case
underscoring deep concerns in Germany over ECB clout.

The case comes more than two years after the ECB backed a
scheme to buy government bonds, called Outright Monetary
Transactions (OMT). Although the plan has since been all-but
moth-balled, the ruling, due in the middle of next year, could
have wide significance.

Oct 13, 2014

France faces euro zone peer pressure to tighten spending plans

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – France faced intensifying pressure from euro zone peers on Monday to tighten spending next year amid a growing rift over its plans to flout European budget rules.

The dispute with France over its planned 2015 budget is a test of new euro zone powers to police public finances and is complicated by a wider debate about how to use government money to help the stagnating European economy.

Oct 13, 2014

France faces pressure from peers to tighten spending plans

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – France faced renewed pressure from euro zone peers on Monday to tighten spending next year, amid a growing rift over its plans to flout European budget rules.

The dispute with France, the euro zone’s second-largest economy, over its planned budget, is an added problem for the bloc, which is hamstrung by political division while its economy is slowing.

Oct 7, 2014

ECB quietly pins its hopes on falling euro

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Grappling with an ailing euro zone economy and stagnant prices, the European Central Bank is hoping that help will come from something it cannot control: the value of the euro.

As Washington prepares to stopper the supply of cheap money that has been helping it revive the United States, the euro has started to fall steeply against the dollar.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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