ECB's Asmussen backs German finmin's call to regulate banks more
BERLIN Dec 7 (Reuters) - European Central Bank board member Joerg Asmussen has backed German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble's call for governments to keep scrutinising the banking sector despite complaints that they have already gone far enough.
Schaeuble's comments have prompted indignation in Germany among business and banking leaders who fear regulation will strangle the financial sector and thereby reduce firms' access to credit.
"The finance minister is right: there should not and will not be a pause in regulation," Asmussen was quoted as saying by the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, in advance excerpts from an interview to be published on Sunday.
Asmussen, who used to be German deputy finance minister, added that, while the financial system had become more robust, "we are still not where we should be".
If accusations that key reference values of the financial market such as Libor have been manipulated are true, the order of the market economy has been damaged, he said.
Schaeuble had told the business daily Handelsblatt this week that the financial sector, and not states, had unleashed the crisis and that regulation must therefore continue.
He also said banks were very creative in circumventing the rules.
Deutsche Bank chief Juergen Fitschen retaliated by saying it was "unacceptable for people to stand there and say that banks are still circumventing the rules".
In his capacity as head of Germany's BdB banking association, he added that "far-reaching changes" in regulation had been made in recent years.
The managing director of the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce warned that too much regulation would create more bureaucracy without reducing the risks.
"Whoever is tied to a leash is unable to act - and that surely cannot be the aim," Martin Wansleben was quoted as saying by the Neue Osnabruecker Zeitung
It could even make it more difficult for companies to access credit, he said. Moreover, it was wrong to suspect the whole financial sector of wrongdoing.
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