Finance ministers have made major progress towards the creation of a European banking union, it has emerged today (13 December).
Following lengthy discussions between officials, a deal has been finalized on establishing the rules that will be used to supervise financiers based in the single currency area.
Under the terms of the agreement - which will be put before leaders at a European Union (EU) summit later today - around 200 of the eurozone's foremost banks will be overseen by the European Central Bank.
Talks have been ongoing for several months and following the latest 14-hour round of negotiations, German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble noted: "We have reached the main points to establish a European banking supervisor that should take on its work in 2014."
Meanwhile, Michel Barnier, commissioner of the EU, said that "piece by piece, brick by brick", the region's banking union will be built on this "fundamental first step" made today.
By Asim Shah