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UK Banks Face Criticism for Not Doing Enough to Help the Economy

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Sep 27, 2012) - European banking stocks have rallied sharply in recent weeks as stimulus measures from central banks have helped eased concerns of an economic crisis within the region. The iShares MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund (EUFN) has gained over 10 percent in the last month. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Banking Industry and provides equity research on Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc ( NYSE : RBS ) and Bank of Ireland ( NYSE : IRE ).

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UK banks have recently come under criticism for not doing enough to help the economy as they have increased bond purchases instead of making more loans. Barclays, Lloyds, and Royal Bank of Scotland have all in recent weeks announced the repurchasing of bonds.

"Banks are showing their rude health and the strength of their liquidity positions," said Michael Symonds, a credit analyst at Daiwa Securities. "They could make loans to the real economy but here banks see real risks if they look at the uncertain economic outlook and the capital expense with granting a new loan."

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Royal Bank of Scotland Chief Executive Stephen Hester has recently stated that they are almost a "recovered bank." "I hope by 2013 the restructuring phase should be largely complete and I hope that our ongoing businesses should be largely retooled and performing at least in line with competitors, with robust, enduring and valuable franchises at that point," Mr. Hester said.

According to Bank of Ireland's Quarterly Economic Outlook the Irish economic recovery is stronger than initially reported. "Overall, we now expect GDP to rise by 1% this year, an upward revision from our previous 0.6%, despite the 1.1% decline in the first quarter," stated Dr. Dan McLaughlin, Group Chief Economist, Bank of Ireland and author of the publication.

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