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Koenig Said to Represent Germany at ECB Bank Supervisor

Germany will nominate Elke Koenig, president of financial regulator Bafin, to represent the country on the European Central Bank’s new banking supervision board, according to two people familiar with the decision-making process.

While the Federal Finance Ministry will propose Koenig for Germany’s spot in the European regulator, it’s not intended that she chair the body, said one of the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are confidential.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the former head of the group of euro-area finance ministers, said in January that the new banking regulator will be headed by a French woman, remarks that fueled speculation Koenig’s French counterpart Daniele Nouy will be chosen for the job.

Spokeswomen for Bafin and the Bundesbank declined to comment.

European Union lawmakers and national governments yesterday clinched a provisional deal on legislation to turn the ECB into the supervisor by mid-2014. The agreement hands lawmakers a role in appointing the head of the supervision board. Under the deal, the ECB will put forward a nominee for formal approval by the European Parliament as well as individual member states.

The legislation to hand the ECB bank oversight powers must still be approved by national governments and the European Parliament before it can take effect. It will take at least a year for the ECB to set up its role once regulations are in place.

The Frankfurt-based central bank will have to hire 600 to 800 people to fulfill its new task, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

ECB Vice President Vitor Constancio said in December the number of new employees “would have to be slightly above 500, but not reaching 1,000.”

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