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EU Sure U.K. Concerns on ECB Oversight Can Be Addressed in Days

The European Commission is confident that outstanding British concerns on a draft law to give the European Central Bank oversight powers can be solved quickly, commission spokeswoman Chantal Hughes said.

The U.K. last month invoked its right to put the bill, already approved by member states and the European Parliament, through a parliamentary scrutiny process.

“We are aware of the U.K. concerns,” Hughes, a spokeswoman for Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial-services chief, said by e-mail. “We’re confident we can sort any remaining issues in the next few days. A final agreement on the single supervisory mechanism is imperative. We cannot afford delay.”

EU leaders agreed last year that the ECB should be given oversight powers as a first step to building a banking union that would break the links between banks and sovereigns, and so boost confidence in the bloc’s financial system.

The British concerns center on voting procedures in the European Banking Authority, an EU agency that coordinates the work of national regulators across the bloc, according to three EU officials who can’t be named because the discussions aren’t public.

The U.K. seeks a guarantee that an agreement on voting arrangements in the EBA, reached earlier this year, won’t be overturned, the official said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jim Brunsden in Brussels at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at

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