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Europe’s Revived Idea of Bad Bank Faces German-Led Resistance

  • Move would clash with European rules set to protect taxpayers
  • Northern countries have resisted taking on south’s burdens
Pedestrians in the financial district of Frankfurt.
Pedestrians in the financial district of Frankfurt.Photographer: Alex Kraus/Bloomberg

A push by some euro area officials to free lenders of their bad debts faces resistance from countries worried that they will bear the costs, according to people familiar with the matter.

In northern Europe, where bad loan levels are far lower than in the south, governments and regulators led by Germany don’t yet see the need for the so-called bad bank that officials elsewhere are proposing, the people said, asking to remain anonymous because the discussions are private. The idea also raises legal questions, they said.