Widespread predictions that Europe would see an increasing amount of securitization and that this would significantly affect the continent's banks were recently echoed by Wim Duisenberg, the president of the European Central Bank.

Speaking at a capital markets seminar in Milan, Duisenberg said: "There are good reasons to believe that a process of securitization will gather pace in the Euro area now that the single currency is in use ... As a result of the securitization trend there has been an increase in the share of security holdings among bank assets and an increase in the share of capital gains, as well as in fee income stemming from asset management services."

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