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Banks must separate deposits from high-risk trades: EU experts

BRUSSELS -- Banks would have to separate consumer deposit-taking from high-risk trading for the financial sector under EU reforms proposed by the governor of the Bank of Finland and unveiled on Tuesday.

The report on reforming the structure of the banking sector across the European Union single market was presented to EU Financial Services Commissioner Michel Barnier, and could be taken up in legislative proposals pending a public consultation including savers.

The idea is to “get rid of a system where profits are private and costs are public,” Bank of Finland governor and ex-European Commissioner Erkki Liikanen told reporters after the presentation of his panel's conclusions.

This way, “all taxpayers will be better off” and with “more clarity and less complexity,” legislative changes will also lead to greater competition, which also serves the consumers, Liikanen said. Barnier meanwhile said in a statement that the “report will feed our reflections on the need for further action.

“I will now consider the next steps, in which the Commission will look at the impact of these recommendations,” he said.

Liikanen's input was published a day before the European Banking Authority issues its final report on banks' implementation of plans to establish temporary capital buffers.

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