Banks are preparing for an ‘economic nuclear winter’

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The first half of 2016 has been a roller-coaster for financial markets. A combination of uncertainties surrounding the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union and weaker-than-expected corporate earnings results across the region means a tough second half looms.

European banks, in particular, have had a very tough six months as the shock and volatility around Brexit sent banking stocks south. Major European banks like Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse saw their shares in free-fall after the referendum’s results were announced. In the U.K., RBS was the worst-hit, with its shares plunging by more than 30 percent since June 24.

The current uncertainty over when the U.K. will start the process of quitting the EU has banks on tenterhooks. But a source told CNBC that banks are “preparing for an economic nuclear winter situation.”

Speaking on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic, a source from a major investment bank told CNBC that financial services firms have put together a strategy in place that takes into account the worst-case scenario that could happen by the end of this year.

“This could mean triggering Article 50, referendum in other European nations leading to a break-up of the euro or sterling hitting below $1.20 or lower. The banks are ready for anything now,” the source said.

“The second half of the year is going to be very challenging for U.K. corporates,” Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA told CNBC via email. “Not only are they contending with possible recession in the U.K. and more prolonged slowdown, the uncertainty factor surrounding Brexit leaves planning for the future a very difficult task.”

Full article: Banks are preparing for an ‘economic nuclear winter’ (CNBC)

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