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ECB’s De Guindos says cross-border mergers would help move towards European banking union

MADRID (Reuters) – European Central Bank Vice-president Luis de Guindos said on Thursday that it was time for cross-border mergers between banks in the euro zone in order to move towards a proper European banking union.

“It would be very significant, among other things, because we need a (European) banking union, and we need to have banks that are, broadly speaking, European,” De Guindos told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.

Profitability across the euro zone bank sector is low and weakening economic growth in the region is expected to further dampen the banks’ prospects.

(Reporting by Nathan Allen; editing by Jesús Aguado)