* 26 European Union countries rubberstamp fund for failed
* Fund is part of euro zone's banking union
* Project to launch in late 2014
BRUSSELS, May 21 European Union countries -
except Sweden and the United Kingdom - on Wednesday reached a
final agreement on setting up a common 55 billion euro ($75.3
billion) euro zone back-up fund to help shut down failing banks.
Europe wrapped up negotiations in late March on establishing
a banking union, with the European Central Bank to take over as
bank watchdog at the end of this year.
Under the agreement signed on Wednesday, a back-up fund will
be built up over eight years and reach a target level of at
least 1 percent of banks' covered deposits.
Levies will be collected from banks nationally and
transferred to the Single Resolution Fund's so-called national
compartments, which will be gradually merged.
For the full text of the Inter-Governmental Agreement on the
SRF see: here
($1 = 0.7302 Euros)
(Reporting by Martin Santa, Editing by John O'Donnell)