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European Central Bank says new agency to restructure failing banks needed next year

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FRANKFURT - The European Central Bank is pushing for the quick setup of an agency that can restructure failing banks, saying the new entity can be set up under the existing European Union treaty.

The ECB said Friday that the new agency needs to start work in the middle of next year.

The bank's opinion clashes with calls from Germany to use a network of national agencies instead while waiting for treaty to be changed to allow the resolution agency.

The central bank said the agency needs to be operating before the ECB takes over as banking supervisor with powers to declare that a bank is in trouble. The idea behind the restructuring agency is that it would prevent the cost of dealing with troubled banks from hurting national finances.

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