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ECB's Constancio says Europe's banks better than perceptions: FT

European Central Bank (ECB) Vice President Vitor Constancio looks on during the monthly ECB news conference in Frankfurt July 4, 2013. REUTE
European Central Bank (ECB) Vice President Vitor Constancio looks on during the monthly ECB news conference in Frankfurt July 4, 2013. REUTE

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Banks in Europe are not in as bad shape as markets commonly judge them to be, European Central Bank Vice-President Vitor Constancio was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

The ECB is scheduled to take over supervision of the region's banks in about a year's time, and a bank resolution mechanism should follow in 2015.

Before that, the central bank of the 17-member euro zone is due to conduct an asset-quality review, followed by stress tests, to ensure that banks enter common supervision in good health.

"The situation of the European banks is better than market perceptions," Constancio told the Financial Times.

"If you take the largest European and American banks, you find that the median common equity tier one capital of European banks is slightly above the median of US banks."

(Reporting by Sakari Suoninen; editing by Patrick Graham)

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