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EU May Shield Banks From Costs During Crisis


Banks in states roiled by Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis may be partly shielded from extra costs when they seek government guarantees, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The European Commission will publish rules on state aid for lenders that may dilute the effect of turmoil in the euro area on the fees that banks have to pay for guarantees on their loans and bonds, said the people who couldn’t be identified because the discussions aren’t public. Under the plans, the formula for setting the fees would reduce the impact of soaring debt- insurance costs for the country giving the backstops, one of the people said.

“Renewed tensions” in financial markets are forcing European Union regulators to extend into 2012 special state aid rules for banks that have allowed governments to inject billions of euros into the industry, said EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia this month. He said he was planning to “clarify and update the rules on pricing and other conditions.”


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