Deutsche Bank co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen said Europe's banking sector remains too dependent on extraordinary support measures taken by the European Central Bank.
"Some banks are staying alive because the European Central Bank has made available cheap money. Without this it remains to be seen whether all banks have a sustainable business model," Fitschen told a banking conference in Frankfurt on Monday.
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Fitschen further urged for banks around the world to maintain momentum for implementing tougher capital rules, known as Basel III.
"It cannot be that we re-open the debate now," Fitschen said, referring to recent moves by regulators to question the viability of a timetable to implement tougher capital rules.
Basel rules are meant to be phased in from January 2013 but U.S. regulators have recently cast doubt on the timeframe due to a flood of industry comments on the proposals.
Basel III rules were drawn up in response to the 2007-09 financial crisis and would force banks to triple the amount of basic capital they hold in a bid to avoid future taxpayer bailouts.
(Reporting By Edward Taylor and Arno Schuetze)