Correspondent, Brussels
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Dec 6, 2012

Van Rompuy charts path to closer integration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank should have full responsibility for overseeing euro zone banks by the start of 2014, a report prepared for EU leaders said on Thursday, indicating that creating a “banking union” will take longer than expected.

The 15-page report setting out the future of economic and monetary union also said a framework for allowing the direct recapitalization of troubled banks from the euro zone’s rescue fund should be finalized by the end of March next year.

Dec 5, 2012

ECB’s Asmussen: No bank supervision framework this year

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials can no longer meet their pledge to complete the legal framework for an EU-wide banking union by the end of the year, European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen said on Wednesday.

Asmussen’s frank assessment of the state of play in Europe’s efforts to forge a banking union came a day after Germany and France clashed publicly over plans to put the ECB in charge of supervising banks.

Dec 5, 2012

No bank supervision framework this year – ECB’s Asmussen

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials can no longer meet their pledge to complete the legal framework for an EU-wide banking union by the end of the year, European Central Bank policymaker Joerg Asmussen said on Wednesday.

Asmussen’s frank assessment of the state of play in Europe’s efforts to forge a banking union came a day after Germany and France clashed publicly over plans to put the ECB in charge of supervising banks.

Dec 5, 2012

Euribor rate-setting group says banks may quit

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – The group running lending rate
benchmark Euribor warned on Wednesday that nervous banks could
quit the panels that contribute to setting such rates,
undermining the systems used to fix the price of lending.

Euribor, the euro interbank offered rate, and Libor, are the
key gauges of how much banks pay to borrow from peers and
underpin swathes of financial products from Spanish mortgages to
derivatives contracts sealed in London. Both are set using
interbank borrowing rates submitted by banks on the panels.

Dec 4, 2012

Franco-German rift hampers plan for banking union

BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Germany and France publicly
clashed on Tuesday over plans to put the European Central Bank
in charge of supervising banks, deepening a dispute over the
scope of the ECB’s powers that threatens to undermine one of
Europe’s boldest reforms.

With time running out to meet a pledge to complete the legal
framework for an EU-wide banking union by the end of the year,
Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a meeting of
EU finance ministers he said could not support a plan that would
give the ECB the final say on supervision.

Dec 3, 2012

Europe’s banking union ambitions under strain

BRUSSELS, Dec 4 (Reuters) – O’Donnell +32 475 69 15 89

European Union finance ministers will try to finalise plans
to put the European Central Bank in charge of supervising all
euro zone banks on Tuesday, but divisions over how ECB oversight
will work threaten to undermine one of Europe’s boldest reforms.

While leaders are agreed that creating a banking union is a
sound idea, they cannot agree on how best to structure it, how
far to go in unifying banking systems to share risk and how to
prevent discrimination between euro- and non-euro countries.

Nov 28, 2012

Europe seeks to bridge divide on banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU is struggling to agree plans for the European Central Bank to police lenders from next year, according to a document seen by Reuters on Wednesday that flagged British demands for what many see as a veto over the scheme.

A report, written by EU officials to outline progress after weeks attempting to settle differences between countries, laid bare disagreements that could yet derail this reform designed to underpin lenders.

Nov 28, 2012

ECB wants “executioner” to terminate Europe’s weak banks

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The European Central Bank has proposed that the EU’s powerful antitrust chief be given a permanent role for shutting down weak banks that survive largely on central bank funding, officials familiar with the issue say.

In the absence of a pan-European scheme for winding up struggling lenders, the task of cleaning up the sector has fallen by default to Joaquin Almunia, the European commissioner for competition issues, who ordered a restructuring of Spanish banks on Wednesday and wants similar moves in Greece.

Nov 27, 2012

EU agrees new controls for credit rating agencies

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union countries and the bloc’s parliament agreed on Tuesday to introduce limited controls on credit ratings agencies after their judgment was called into question in the debt crisis.

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner in charge of regulation who helped broker a deal on the new law, said it aimed to reduce the over-reliance on ratings and establish a civil liability regime.

Nov 27, 2012

Don’t delay new bank rules too long, Asia urges Europe

HONG KONG/BRUSSELS, Nov 27 (Reuters) – Asian financial
leaders warned Europe on Tuesday to limit any delay in stricter
banking rules to months not years amid fears the United States’
decision to shelve the controversial new global regime could
derail it completely.

Europe is preparing to follow the United States in
postponing the introduction of the Basel III reforms, EU sources
told Reuters, and the delay could last six months or even longer
if diplomats and lawmakers fail to break the deadlock.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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