October 4, 2016 / 8:26 AM / a year ago

Low rates are here to stay, ECB's Praet tells bankers

FRANKFURT, Oct 4 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank is set to keep its interest rates low until it gets inflation back to its target, the ECB's chief economist said on Tuesday, arguing it was not up to the ECB to shore up bank profits.

"Very low interest rates will probably prevail for an extended period of time," Praet told an event in Madrid.

"A durable improvement in the prospects of the euro area banking system requires further efforts outside the realm of monetary policy," he added.

"These include, most notably, a swift and stringent completion of banking union and additional adjustments in the banking sector towards greater cost efficiency and business models that remain viable in the new regulatory and macroeconomic environment." (Reporting By Francesco Canepa)

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