UPDATE 1-Germany wants some banks shielded under ECB supervision

Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:29am EST

* Document says some German banks have "particularities"

* Some 24 domestic banks expected to come under ECB

* ECB to assume supervisory role from Nov. 2014

By Matthias Sobolewski

BERLIN, Nov 21 (Reuters) - German parties negotiating the formation of a new government have signalled that they want certain domestic banks shielded from external oversight by the European Central Bank once it assumes new supervisory powers next year.

In a draft coalition document obtained by Reuters, the parties say they will ask national financial regulator Bafin to ensure that the "particularities" of German banks are respected when they come under the watch of the ECB.

The language reflects lingering wariness in Berlin about giving the ECB powers to supervise certain savings, development and private banks that have long operated under German rules.

The ECB is due to take over supervisory responsibilities for 130 European banks in November of next year. Some 24 German banks will be among those, from heavyweight Deutsche Bank to regional Landesbanks and savings bank Hamburger Sparkasse.

The 10-page document was prepared by a working group led by Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and is expected to flow into a broader coalition contract between his conservatives and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD), forming a policy blueprint for a new government.

It points out that because of rules specifying that all banks with assets of 30 billion euros or above must come under European supervision, some German banks that are "regionally limited" and "active in special sectors" will be subject to ECB oversight.

"The government will ask the Bafin, in line with its responsibilities for European bank supervision, to ensure that the particularities of certain banks, for example state development banks, are respected," the document reads.

The paper stresses the need for leverage ratio limits for banks and voices support for Europe-wide implementation of the so-called Liikanen proposals for banks, which would legally separate risky investment activities from traditional lending business.

It also promises a crackdown on tax avoidance by multinational companies, saying Germany could press ahead with national laws to prevent the kind of profit-shifting that has allowed Apple, Google, Amazon and Starbucks to reduce their tax bills.

The leaders of the G20 group of nations have all backed an effort by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to tackle corporate tax avoidance.

But the document suggests that a new German government may not be prepared to wait another two years for the OECD to submit its recommendations for change.

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