The European Central Bank’s (ECB) zero interest rate policy will remain in place for the “foreseeable future,” said Vice-President Luis de Guindos.

In a speech in London, De Guindos noted that “even once monetary policy normalizes, interest rates are likely to remain below levels that were common in previous decades.”

De Guindos intervention comes while data from Italy, Germany, France, and Spain suggest the Eurozone is on track for an economic rebound in the second half of 2019. He also urged European lenders to shift attention from policy demands to end negative interest rates on deposits which are currently at -0.4% and focus on mergers at a national and cross border level to sustain profitability.

De Guindos made clear, however, that he does not favour “national champions” – as in the failed Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank merger – but transnational mergers that increase overall resilience and boost profitability.

Despite news of a rebound of economic growth in the Eurozone, the ECB has made a firm turn towards relaunching monetary stimulus.  European Central Bank (ECB) Vice-President Luis de Guindos attends the presentation of the Annual ECB’s report during a Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels