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May 6, 2021

EU ministers at odds over banking union

Talks on a eurozone banking union have run into serious disagreement, raising doubts over whether France, Germany and non-eurozone countries can agree the blueprint for a single eurozone bank supervisor by the end of the year, Financial Times informs, quoted by Mediafax. Sweden, Poland and the Netherlands called for a more “realistic” negotiating timetable to resolve the problems, suggesting a talks will run into 2013. Anders Borg, Sweden’s finance minister, said it was “undecidable and not acceptable” to aim for a deal by the end of the year. Michel Barnier, the EU commissioner responsible for the banking union plan, insisted the January deadline for talks was “difficult but realistic and necessary”. However, two senior diplomats involved in the talks privately said they now expected the negotiations to run for up to a year. Underlying the negotiation is a Franco-German dispute over if and when European rescue funds should be able to pump money directly into struggling banks, which could lift the burden of underwriting weak banks off the Spanish or Irish government.Germany is in favour of the ECB having some responsibility for monitoring big financial institutions, but is resisting the broad scope and high degree of centralisation proposed by the European Commission. Germany also objects to what it says is hasty implementation, with the ECB taking over supervision for all banks by 2014. After the meeting Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance ministers, threw out a further complication by demanding a pan-eurozone stress test for banks before supervision is passed to the ECB.

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