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Dijsselbloem: EU Bank Resolution Agency May Need Treaty

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April 20 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union may need to enact treaty changes to create a new institution to shut down failing banks, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said.

The EU can pursue most of its banking-union strategy under existing treaties, Dijsselbloem, who chairs the so-called Eurogroup of euro-area finance ministers, told reporters in Washington today.

“I know that we can push forward at least 80, 90 percent of the project, and the final decision on having a singular resolution authority may need to make a treaty change,” Dijsselbloem said.

The European Central Bank and Michel Barnier, the EU’s financial services chief, have called for a European Resolution Authority to intervene at crisis-hit banks, saying the step is essential to untangle the fates of lenders and sovereigns. Barnier said he will present draft legislation in June.

Dijsselbloem said there’s a difference of opinion on the single resolution authority, with Germany calling for treaty change and the European Commission saying they already have a legal basis to proceed.

‘‘I think the banking union at the moment is the most important project for Europe and the euro zone in particular,” Dijsselbloem said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rebecca Christie in Washington at rchristie4@bloomberg.net; Jeanna Smialek in Washington at jsmialek1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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