WARSAW May 14 There is no sign that the
European Central Bank's in-depth health check of top euro zone
banks has caused the exodus from central and eastern Europe that
some in the region had feared, the EBRD said on Wednesday.
The European Central Bank is conducting detailed checks of
the euro zone's largest lenders, combing through their loan
books to uncover hidden losses in order to start with a clean
slate when it takes over as bank supervisor in November.
Some policymakers feared big banks would retrench from
central and eastern Europe to bolster their risk profiles, but
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) chief
economist Erik Berglof said the signs were so far reassuring.
"We had been very worried about the impact of the (ECB)
Asset Quality Review but ... (because of) the measures that have
been taken, the signals about the banking union, the increased
co-ordination between home and host authorities, that impact has
not been as strong as feared," Berglof said.
"But again there is still more deleveraging to come and this
has to be watched very, very closely," said Berglof, speaking in
Warsaw at the EBRD's annual two-day meeting.
Euro zone banks with a major presence in eastern Europe and
the Balkans include Austria's Raiffeisen and Erste
, Italy's Unicredit and France's Societe
(Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Gareth Jones)