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Report: Brussels weighs use of central bank profits to close Brexit budget gap

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Report: Brussels weighs use of central bank profits to close Brexit budget gap

The European Commission is looking into diverting about €56 billion in profits made by the EU's 19 national central banks through printing bank notes in a bid to cover the post-Brexit budget gap, the Financial Times reported.

The commission will discuss the proposal March 28, along with other revenue-generating schemes as it tries to swell its own coffers once the U.K. leaves the bloc in 2019.

The European Central Bank, or ECB, distributes more than 90% of seigniorage profits, which are made through printing bank notes, to the national banks in the eurozone. Brussels said diverting such profits would generate about €56 billion in revenue over the bloc's seven-year budget plan.

The ECB has not generated any profits from printing bank notes since 2015 based on its latest annual report, the FT said.

Any changes to profit distribution would require a legal change to the bank's statute, the ECB said.

The commission is looking to fill the €15-billion-a-year budget gap that would be left once the U.K., the EU's second-biggest net budget contributor, officially quits the bloc.

EU governments, however, have refused Brussels' revenue-generating proposals such as EU-wide taxes, arguing that such schemes would deplete their own coffers.