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Europe’s Banks Prepare For Blackouts As Energy Crisis Worsens

Banks across Europe are bracing for energy rationing and possible power outages this winter by getting backup generators ready so that they won’t leave bank transactions and ATMs in the dark if the energy crisis worsens, sources familiar with plans tell Reuters.

The banks are also considering dimming the lights to save energy, according to an analysis by Reuters.   

The energy crisis in Europe took a turn for the worse at the end of last week, when Russian gas giant Gazprom said after three-day maintenance on Friday that Nord Stream would remain shut until “operational defects in the equipment are eliminated”, upping the ante in its gas war against Europe.

On Monday, the Kremlin blamed sanctions for the shutdown of the Nord Stream pipeline and said the pipeline would remain shut until the Western sanctions that impede gas turbine repairs are lifted. 

As governments in Europe appeal for voluntary gas and electricity conservation and even consider rationing, banks are also bracing for a difficult winter. The banking system is too important for Europe and its economy to be left affected by power outages. 

Banks are currently stress-testing alternative sources of energy, including backup generators, according to a Reuters source. 

JP Morgan, for example, has already had simulations of blackouts, the source with knowledge of the situation told Reuters. Euronext has backup generators, the company operating the French and Italian stock markets said.

Deutsche Bank has implemented a series of energy-saving measures, including shutting off hot water in office washrooms and switching off outdoor advertising during the night. 

Energy conservation is one of the measures European governments and local authorities have implemented to save gas and electricity amid low (or in Germany’s case now – non-existent) Russian pipeline gas supply and rallying gas and power prices. 

In July, Berlin and other cities in Germany started turning off the spotlights on historic monuments and municipal buildings in an effort to conserve energy ahead of what could be a winter of energy rationing. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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