March 14, 2018 / 10:10 AM / 4 days ago

ECB's Angeloni says banks must get ready for end of ECB stimulus

ROME (Reuters) - The end of the European Central Bank’s expansionary monetary policies is nearing and banks should prepare for the risks that the new phase will bring, a top ECB supervisor said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO - A huge specimen of the new 50 Euro banknote is pictured during a news conference at the ECB headquarters in Frankfurt April 4, 2017.

Ignazio Angeloni told a conference in Rome that the Italian banking sector was under “special scrutiny” after the collapse of numerous lenders in the last few years as the sector battles to reduce its huge stock of bad loans.

Angeloni, who represents the ECB on the EU’s bank supervision board, said plans put together by the ECB and the European Commission will together help Europe to improve the balance sheets of its banks, but warned of risks ahead.

The end of the ECB’s asset-buying programme known as “quantitative easing” is a “natural evolution which everyone should be prepared for,” he said.

He added that protectionist trade policies announced by the United States also carry risks for the global economy, and Europe is particularly vulnerable to them.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Gavin Jones, editing by Steve Scherer

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