Europe

Supervisor: Eurozone bank profits still weak, mergers needed

The sun sets over some towers of the banking district in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, March 26, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The sun sets over some towers of the banking district in Frankfurt, Germany, Sunday, March 26, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

Europe's top banking supervisor says profits are "a weak spot" for financial institutions in the 19 countries that use the euro currency and that some should be "pushed out of the market" by merging with stronger competitors.

Daniele Nouy said Monday that weak profits concerned regulators because they affect the stability of the financial sector. She said "stability and profitability are two sides of the same coin."

Nouy chairs the supervisory board at the European Central Bank. The ECB was given responsibility for overseeing banks after national supervisors were seen as looking the other way as troubles built at their home banks ahead of the global financial crisis.

She said one goal of EU-level bank regulation was to create a "truly European banking market" that would promote cross-border mergers.