Fri, Dec 14, 2012 - Page 15 News List

ECB to be union’s chief bank watchdog from 2014

Reuters, BRUSSELS

That will satisfy Germany, which wanted to maintain primary oversight of its savings and cooperative banks, nearly all of which will not fall under direct surveillance from Frankfurt unless they run into problems.

Ministers also agreed yesterday to introduce a mediation panel to resolve disputes with national supervisors, a move Germany was satisfied would act as a counterbalance to the authority of the ECB’s Governing Council.

A steering committee will guide the work of the supervisory body, which in turn is answerable to the council. That leaves the final say with the ECB.

Reaching a deal also required granting concessions to Britain, a member of the EU that does not use the euro, which worried that the ECB would undermine its autonomy in policing the City of London, Europe’s top financial center.

EU ministers agreed that a double vote would now take place — one for those in the banking union and another for non-euro countries outside — before decisions on EU regulation are taken.

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