BERLIN, April 9 The vice chair of the ECB's
nascent bank supervision arm said on Wednesday that she was not
currently focussing on suggestions from some ECB policymakers
that the central bank should eventually spin off the new body.
The Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM), run out of the ECB,
is due to take over supervision of euro zone banks in November
after conducting a health check of the sector.
Earlier this week, Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann backed
a suggestion made by Dutch central bank chief Klaas Knot to make
use of the ECB's credibility to establish the SSM before later
looking to establish it as a separate institution.
But Sabine Lautenschlaeger, who is the vice chair of the new
banking watchdog as well as a member of the ECB's Executive
Board, was more focused on getting the new supervisory body up
and running. Weidmann is Lautenschlaeger's former boss.
"Please understand if I place all of my attention totally
into building the supervision before discussing the separation,"
she told Reuters on the margins of a banking conference in
From November, the ECB will supervise directly around 130 of
the euro zone's largest lenders as part of a broader push
towards closer integration of Europe's banks that aims to create
a more level regional playing field for the sector.
The region's other 5,900 or so banks will remain under the
brief of national supervisors, though the ECB will have powers
to intervene if it deems necessary.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is another
policymaker who would like to see the SSM separated from the
ECB, though this would require European treaty change.
(Reporting by Andreas Framke; Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing
by Toby Chopra)