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It’s Deja Vu All Over Again as Eastern Populism Rattles Banks

  • Banks ditched boom-bust prone wholesale funding after crisis
  • Now Eastern populists led by Viktor Orban target their profits
Romania's Economy Boosted By Industry And Exports
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe
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As an east European credit collapse threatened to topple western parent banks in 2009, policy makers across the east-west divide pulled together for the first time to save the system. A decade later, with eastern lenders outperforming the richer west, new risks are forming that threaten to be just as damaging.

Bankers are meeting in the Austrian capital on Wednesday to discuss the 10 years of the Vienna Initiative, founded to help ring-fence the region against the global economic crisis. The backdrop to their talks is a landscape of rising political populism that may still rock the financial system and a growing money-laundering scandal that has already shaken parts of eastern Europe and western banks such as Swedbank AB and Danske Bank A/S.