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Full ECB banking supervision 'may not be possible'

Complete supervision of the eurozone banking system by the European Central Bank (ECB) may not be possible, a leading finance official in the region believes.

Last week, European Union (EU) commissioner Michel Barnier told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung that the central institution is set to be granted full control over all lenders that have used the European Stability Mechanism from January 2013.

This regulatory power is planned to then be extended to include all financiers in the eurozone as of 2014 as the European Commission looks to add more security to the area's fiscal system.

However, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has today (3 September) dampened expectations that such sweeping changes could be made in the coming weeks and months.

Speaking on German radio, the official commented: "The ECB has itself said it does not have the potential to supervise the European Union's 6,000 banks in the foreseeable future."

By Tony Aynsley