July 4, 2017 / 6:06 PM / 18 days ago

EU register could create market for soured bank debt: ECB's Mersch

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Yves Mersch, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank presents an oversized newly unveiled 10 euro note at the headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, January 13, 2014.Ralph Orlowski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Setting up a European Union-wide register of bad bank debt could help to create a viable market for the 900 billion euros worth of soured credit that is weighing on the bloc's bank sector, European Central Bank board member Yves Mersch said on Tuesday.

"One possibility to address the large stock of non-performing loans could be to create an EU-wide template and reporting system for such loans, alongside minimum standards for transparency," Mersch said.

"Efforts to enhance the transparency and standardization of NPLs could foster the creation of an NPL market," Mersch said, addressing the difficulty banks are facing in offloading such debt. "But we have to be mindful not to stigmatize lenders unduly and respect confidentiality appropriately."

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Gareth Jones

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