EU finance ministers clash over banking union

Dec 04, 2012, 10:11 AM EST
The Euro currency sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt November 6, 2012.
REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

As a year-end deadline approaches for agreeing the scope of a single supervisor for euro zone financial institutions, long-standing differences re-emerged at a meeting in Brussels of EU finance ministers. Germany, Sweden and Poland again voiced reservations about the proposed European Central Bank (ECB) oversight of all European banks and thrifts, not just large banks that are potential systemic risks, and about mingling the ECB's monetary policy and supervisory roles. France, Belgium, Spain and Italy want the legislation hurried through regardless, saying missing the deadline would undermine market confidence in the new supervisory regime. There is also disagreement on what would constitute the fair treatment of European banks in EU countries outside the euro zone.