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Analysis: European banking superpower is no quick fix

•, By Marc Jones

On paper, the idea of creating an uber-watchdog with knowledge about the risks in banks' balance sheets and information on how much they depend on central bank funding, appears a perfect recipe for an effective supervisor.

  The European Commission is expected to lay out the blueprint in September, giving lawmakers time to discuss changes ahead of an end of year deadline, which must be met before the euro zone's bailout fund can start recapitalizing banks direct. 

One German official said it was "totally unrealistic" to expect the new set up to be up and running in six months - some experienced in euro zone politics think it could take 2-3 years - but ECB insiders say they already have a clear outline of their plans and that talks with Brussels have already started.

  Much of the detail is still to be decided, but plans as they stand would see the ECB supervise the 25 to 30 large, multi-national commercial euro zone banks such as BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, Santander and UniCredit. 

"I don't think it's realistic to build the ECB up into a single, unified bank supervisor of all of Europe's thousands of banks ... but we will find a sensible solution in terms of a division of labor," the ECB's Ewald Nowotny said this week. 

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