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Europe’s Lenders Must Consider Eastern Role, EBRD’s Nagy Says

Western European lenders must consider their “systemic” role in the region’s eastern nations as the financial industry responds to recent crises, said Piroska Nagy, director of country strategy and policy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

“We are talking about change, accommodating and financing change as opposed to maintaining support,” Nagy said today in an interview in Vienna. “There’s deleveraging, there’s recapitalization, regulatory changes, there’s a lot going on. Change is fine and good, but it has to be managed in a way that doesn’t cause systemic risks.”

Regulators and policy makers are trying to shield growth in eastern Europe against contagion from the euro area’s deepening debt crisis. New capital and liquidity requirements for the western lenders that control three-quarters of eastern Europe’s banking market threaten to curb credit needed to fund companies and households in the region.

The International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank, the EBRD and the World Bank “will engage at a heightened level with the region,” Nagy said, without elaborating.

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