EU concerned German bank rules block movement of capital-paper

FRANKFURT Thu Jan 3, 2013 3:12am EST

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FRANKFURT Jan 3 (Reuters) - The European Commission is concerned that German bank regulator BaFin may be inhibiting the free movement of capital in Europe's common market, German daily Handelsblatt said.

The commission and the European Banking Authority are scrutinising BaFin's policy to demand that banks - including subsidiaries of foreign lenders - keep sufficient liquidity for their German operations, the paper said on Thursday.

It cited a spokesman for Internal Market and Services Commissioner Michel Barnier. The European Commission was not immediately available for comment.

Handelsblatt said the concern was that some German units of foreign banks were being prevented from transferring liquidity to their parent companies.

The Bank of Italy is said to have raised the issue about BaFin with the EBA, Handelsblatt said, citing supervisory sources. It said Italian bank Unicredit, which has a large German subsidiary HVB, is said to have criticised the BaFin rules. (Reporting By Edward Taylor; Additional reporting by Ethan Bilby; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)

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