After receiving government support at the height of the financial crisis, banks and insurers across Europe are withdrawing from government programmes and repaying the aid they have received. "The banks less reliant on the governments are seen as much stronger and much better for equity holders as well as management," said Irfan Younus, an NCB Stockbrokers banking analyst. "It means less restrictions on things like paying bonuses and stops having everything you do at risk of making headlines in the evening papers."

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