ING bank concerned about euro's future

While the worst of the credit crisis is now definitely a thing of the past, the future of the euro remains a major concern, the directors of ING Bank said while presenting the bank's annual figures on Thursday, ANP reports.

According to risk director Wilfred Nagel, the future of the euro is dependent on a number of factors, mainly the developments surrounding the Brexit and the outcomes of elections in the Netherlands and France this year. He points out that the eurozone is only an economic union, not a political one. "Political will is therefore necessary to maintain the union. The elections in various countries in the coming time are about that."

Nagel worries that Britain's departure from the European Union will work as "a cataclyst" for the anti-EU sentiment in various countries, putting the future of the euro under severe pressure. "The crisis is not as acute as in 2011, so we don't expect something to happen now. But everything depends on the elections."

Nevertheless, for the past five years the bank included future scenarios in which the euro no longer exists. But those don't provide a clear answer, according to Nagel. "Many assumptions are involved. Will countries actually fall back to their own coins? How many countries are involved and will they all go their own way? What value will their coins have and how will that value develop? These questions at least gives you an idea."

The ING directors believe that the future of the euro is of greater concern at the moment than other problems like tensions in countries outside Europe, such as in Turkey and Ukraine. The bank is trying to keep its assets and liabilities in individual countries as balanced as possible in order not to be too surprised by developments.