WestLB faces growing risk of dismantlement: EU regulators

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The European Commission warned on Friday that the troubled German regional bank WestLB faced a growing risk of dismantlement because its restructuring did not go far enough.

Asked by reporters if winding down the bank was an option, European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said: "This possibility unfortunately is increasing."

The European Union's executive arm announced earlier that it was extending its investigation into state aid after concluding that the bank received an estimated 3.4 billion euros (4.8 billion dollars) more than foreseen.

The commission said that before it can approve the aid the bank should consider "further restructuring measures" to address concerns about distorting competition or a gradual reimbursement of the aid.

"In the meantime the Commission continues to doubt the viability of the bank," the competition watchdog said in a statement.

© 2010 AFP

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