February 13, 2018 / 5:26 PM / 10 days ago

Merkel ally tipped as Germany's next top banking watchdog

FRANKFURT, Feb 13 (Reuters) - A European parliamentarian from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) is leading the race for a job as one of Germany’s top banking supervisors, Manager Magazin reported on Tuesday.

Burkhard Balz is the favourite to replace Andreas Dombret, the Bundesbank’s board member in charge of overseeing banks, when he steps down in April, the magazine said on its website.

The Bundesbank declined to comment on the report.

Balz told Reuters he would feel honoured if his name were to be associated with the role.

A member of the European Parliament since 2009, Balz was proposed for the role by the government of his regional state, Niedersachsen, where his party governs in coalition with the Social Democrats.

The Bundesbank and financial watchdog Bafin are jointly responsible for supervising Europe’s biggest financial sector, marred in recent years by trouble at Germany’s top lender Deutsche Bank and by unpaid loans in the shipping sector.

Carl-Ludwig Thiele, the Bundesbank board member in charge of payment systems, is also scheduled to step down in April. (Reporting By Frank Siebelt; Writing by Francesco Canepa; Editing by Gareth Jones)

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