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Mairead McGuinness pledges to tackle looming financial pain from coronavirus

Published: (Updated: ) in European News by .

The financial services commissioner designate said she would ‘inject fresh energy’ into efforts to unlock a banking union.

Mairead McGuinness has promised the economic blow from the coronavirus will receive her “highest attention” if she is confirmed as financial services commissioner.

The Irishwoman said she would continue the work of outgoing financial services chief Valdis Dombrovskis in her opening comments during a hearing in the European Parliament today.

Still, she said “the context has changed” due to the coronavirus pandemic and some companies will not recover from the economic blow from the pandemic.

“We know that some companies will not recover and that financial institutions will face an increase in non-performing loans, which we must prepare for,” she told EU lawmakers. “This will receive my highest attention, if you choose to confirm me.”

Among her other priorities, McGuinness said she would “inject fresh energy” into efforts to unlock a banking union.

She pointed to reaching agreement on a backstop for a fund protecting taxpayers from bank failures and an EU-wide deposit insurance scheme.

“Allowing this stalemate to continue leaves us vulnerable in times of crisis,” she said of the deadlock on the project.

The European Parliament vice president also pledged to make quick progress on a fund to help small businesses list on the capital markets and accelerate work on green finance including a green bond standard.

On Brexit, she said the EU must be ready to deal with the consequences and avoid being “overly dependent” on a country outside the bloc for financial services.


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