World News

Europe needs to rebalance bank buffer rules: de Guindos

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Euro zone authorities should shift bank capital requirements, putting greater emphasis on buffers that can be released during downturns, European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said on Thursday.

“A rebalancing of the current composition of capital requirements toward a more prominent role for the countercyclical capital buffer, keeping the overall level of capital requirements unchanged, could help mitigate costly economic deleveraging during downturns,” de Guindos added.

Although banks have improved their capital positions in recent years, weak profitability makes it difficult to generate further buffers and relatively little of these could be freed up to help lenders during times of stress, he added.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi)