EU deal on cross-border banking supervision

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LJUBLJANA – EU members are to co-operate more closely to supervise pan-European banks, according to a deal to be announced in Ljubljana, Slovenia today. At present, cross-border banks are supervised at national levels, but the threat of a banking crisis spanning several EU borders has moved finance ministers into striking an accord.

The EU proposal is similar in outlook to one which UK chancellor Alastair Darling plans to propose to the G-7 group in Washington on April 11, resting upon a system of international supervisory colleges designed to monitor multinational banking giants. National regulators and central banks will in future work together on these bodies. Despite some French and Italian calls, there is unlikely to be a new centralised EU-level regulator.

Charlie McCreevy, European commissioner for the internal market, said: “You have to ask how we would have handled a situation like IKB or Northern Rock if they had been operating in several countries – and the answer is we couldn’t have done it.”

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