June 25 - Top bankers and policymakers from the financial industry's global trade body are meeting in Paris to search for ways to kick-start Europe's economy. Jamie McGeever reports from the IIF conference where Europe's bank stress tests are also high on the agenda
More than 1,000 bankers have gathered in Paris looking for ways to kick start the economy. They're attending a meeting of the Institute of International Finance - a lobby group for 450 financial firms around the world. High on the agenda: the health of Europe's banks, battered by years of recession, rising debt and crisis. Jean-Claude Trichet, former president of the European Central Bank, says the worst may be over but banks still need constant monitoring. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORMER ECB PRESIDENT JEAN-CLAUDE TRICHET, SAYING: "We will have of course the overall checking up of all banks by the single supervisory mechanism and that is something which is extremely important." (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER JAMIE MCGEEVER, SAYING: "For once though, Europe isn't alone at the eye of the storm. Tim Adams, president and CEO of the IIF, says banks must be vigilant to the risks and challenges from all corners of the globe." But banks have come a long way. They've increased capital to protect them from further financial shocks, they're better regulated, and according to Adams, they're in their best shape for a decade. (SOUNDBITE) English): IIF PRESIDENT AND CEO, TIM ADAMS, SAYING: "European banks have done a great job of raising capital, they have shrunk their balance sheets - they have done a very good job of trying to clean up their balance sheets so i think they are much more stable and vibrant than they were a year or two ago." A lot more to do? Certainly. But maybe - just maybe - not as much as the doomsayers would have you believe.