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ECB picks Italy's Enria as banking watchdog: sources

Reuters  |  FRANKFURT 

(Reuters) - The European picked Italian-born as its new watchdog on Wednesday after a hotly contested run-off with Ireland's Sharon Donnery, two sources familiar with the decision told

Enria will take over from as the of the Single Supervisory Mechanism that oversees the euro zone's 118 top lenders, a 21 trillion euro industry still reeling from the last recession and facing new challenges from hacking to fintech.

of the London-based European Authority since 2011, Enria has had a major role in shaping the European Union's new financial rulebook in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

A former at the of and the ECB, he is viewed as politically neutral and ruffled some feathers at home for what was seen as an overly tough stance on unpaid loans and credit to small companies.

Pending approval from the European Parliament, he will start his new job at the beginning of next year.

The ballot of the bank's was secret, but sources had told ahead of it that Enria's candidacy would be backed by the central banks of and other southern European countries.

They were alienated by Donnery's even harsher approach as the main of the ECB's drive to clean up banks' balance sheets from bad loans, which are mainly concentrated in Cyprus, Greece, and

The initiative was eventually watered down due to opposition from Italy.

The two candidates had been approved by the after informal hearings.

The of Italy's eurosceptic on that committee did not back Enria.

Just hours ahead of the vote, two German and one British member of the EU parliament wrote to ECB to "clarify (their) positive view" of Donnery, according to an email seen by

The Committee's chair, Italian Roberto Gualtieri, called their comments "inappropriate" and singled out the UK parliamentarian for an "unacceptable" involvement ahead of Britain's exit from the EU. [nF9N1TZ00X]

(editing by John Stonestreet)

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 21:10 IST