Bank deleveraging from E.Europe grew in Q2 -survey

LONDON Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:00am EST

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LONDON Nov 12 (Reuters) - Deleveraging by western European banks from central and eastern Europe, a concern for the stability of the region's banking systems and economies, speeded up in the second quarter, data showed on Monday.

Figures from the Vienna Initiative, which aims to prevent disorderly deleveraging from the region, showed bank withdrawal was equivalent to 0.8 percent of the region's GDP in Q2, compared with 0.3 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

Spearheaded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Vienna Initiative also includes the EBRD's fellow multilateral lenders the European Investment Bank and World Bank and is chaired by Polish central bank governor Marek Belka.

The pace of deleveraging remained "moderate" at half the levels seen in the second part of last year, the Vienna Initiative said in a statement.

But cumulative funding withdrawal from the region has been 4 percent of GDP since mid-2011.

"It remains imperative that funding withdrawal takes place in an orderly fashion," the group said following a meeting last week.

Non-performing loans were also a concern, the group added.

"The high level of impaired assets in some countries of emerging Europe constitutes an obstacle to new lending and ultimately to the return to growth."

The EBRD, EIB and World Bank last week announced a 30 billion euro recovery and growth plan for the region. (Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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