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EU lawmakers back Michaud as executive director of banking watchdog

LONDON (Reuters) - The European Parliament on Wednesday gave the green light to appointing Francois-Louis Michaud as executive director of the European Union’s banking watchdog, overturning a recommendation to reject him.

The parliament’s economic affairs committee had narrowly voted last week in favour of rejecting Michaud, with members saying they wanted to see more women appointed to top jobs in the bloc’s regulatory bodies.

But in a rare move against a committee, full parliament endorsed the appointment of Michaud, a senior European Central Bank official, as executive director of the European Banking Authority (EBA) by 343 votes to 296, with 56 abstentions.

Green Party lawmaker Sven Giegold said the vote was a blow for gender balance.

Michaud had told a hearing in the economic affairs committee last month that he was fully aware of the need for a better gender balance at EBA, and that he was willing to commit to appointing more female staff at the Paris-based agency.

Michaud was the second candidate for the post after the first candidate, Irish central banker Gerry Cross, was rejected, partly because of a past role with banking lobby AFME.

Reporting by Huw Jones in London; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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