Bloomberg News

German Snags Delays EU Nod for ECB Bank-Supervisor Accord

March 27, 2013

The European Union will reconsider details of a proposed law to make the European Central Bank a supervisor after Germany requested technical changes.

Germany told a meeting of national diplomats in Brussels today that the EU should extend rules for firing the chairman of the ECB’s bank oversight board to cover the vice chairman, according to two EU officials who declined to be identified because the talks are private. It also wants the text to state more clearly that national parliaments can quiz the ECB on its supervisory policies. Germany, along with other EU governments, can veto the plans.

Ireland, which holds the EU’s rotating presidency, sought endorsement at today’s meeting of the deal it reached on the draft law last week with the European Parliament, but will now weigh minor modifications. A spokeswoman for Ireland’s EU presidency said some limited work must still be done on the compromise text and that the EU remains on track for the measures to take effect in mid-2014.

EU leaders called for the new supervisor in 2012 as they sought to tame a fiscal crisis that has forced Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and, most recently, Cyprus to seek international aid. The move is part of a broader plan to build a so-called banking union that may also include a central authority for resolving failing lenders, due to be proposed later this year.

Germany also wants stronger references in the text to possible changes to bloc’s treaties that would place the supervisor on what it says would be a sounder legal footing, the EU officials said. The issues shouldn’t affect the timetable for setting up the supervisor, according to the officials.

The German Finance Ministry declined to comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at jbrunsden@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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