Some of the world's biggest banks will make it increasingly difficult for companies involved in controversial industries to get funding for future projects. Growing environmental scrutiny is making it harder for lenders to finance polluting industries without suffering a blow to their reputation, but a continued focus on profit means improved lending for green ventures is far from guaranteed.
Gordon Brown's former economic adviser, Ed Balls, has effectively repeated comments made by the Bank of England's deputy governor last October by asserting that the economy is experiencing the worst recession in over a century. While the government may downplay the sentiment, there's no avoiding this reality: unemployment and inflation will ensure a long and painful recovery for the UK.
Alleged to have unfairly favored Banca Popolare Italiana in the fight for domestic lender Antonveneta, Bank of Italy governor Antonio Fazio is facing questions from magistrates investigating him for abuse of office. Although the charges are yet to be brought, the event symbolizes the Italian government's overdue acceptance that its banking sector needs to fall in line with the rest of Europe.
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