Banks in Europe are allowed to increase their debts slightly until the end of June next year. This was decided by the European Central Bank (ECB). The central bank decided to do so because of the exceptional circumstances of the crisis.

The measure means that banks do not have to include their assets transferred to the central bank as a result of monetary operations in the so-called leverage ratio, which expresses the ratio between own funds and debts. The step makes it lower, giving banks more room to lend money.

There is no binding requirement for this leverage ratio yet, but a 3% requirement will come into force on 28 June next year. Around that time, ECB and DNB will examine whether the temporary measure now announced will be continued and the requirement for the leverage ratio will be increased longer.

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