March 7, 2014 / 11:26 AM / in 4 years

ECB sends former board member Hamalainen to new banking watchdog

FRANKFURT, March 7 (Reuters) - The European Central Bank appointed three out of four representatives to the new banking watchdog’s top board on Friday, including former ECB Executive Board member Sirkka Hamalainen.

Banking supervision is being unified under the auspices of the ECB, which gets to appoint four representatives to the new watchdog’s supervisory board and the vice chair.

Europe’s move towards a banking union has been accelerated by the euro zone’s debt crisis, which highlighted the dependence of many governments on banks buying their bonds, and the banks’ dependence on their governments picking up the bill if loans go bad.

The ECB decided to send Sirkka Hamalainen, who was a member of the ECB Executive Board between 1998 and 2003, Ignazio Angeloni, who currently heads the ECB’s financial stability division, and Julie Dickson, Canada’s chief banking regulator.

The fourth person will be appointed in due course.

Dickson, whose term at the helm of Canada’s financial services regulatory agency runs out this year, had been pegged as a candidate to replace Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney when he left to join the Bank of England.

Hamalainen became Finland’s first female central bank governor in 1992, a post she left in 1998 to join the ECB Executive Board, where she was again the first female member.

Angeloni has led the preparations for the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) since August 2012. He worked at the Italian central bank and finance ministry before he became an adviser to the ECB Executive Board in 2008 and later a director general.

The SSM supervisory board consists of the representatives from the national supervisors of the 18 euro zone countries and four ECB representatives. It is chaired by Daniele Nouy and Sabine Lautenschlaeger is the vice chair.

The board, which meets twice a month, plans and carries out the supervisory tasks and undertakes the preparations before the ECB take over responsibilities as the euro zone bank supervisor in November. (Reporting by Eva Taylor in Frankfurt and Sakari Suoninen in Helsinki; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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