November 20, 2018 / 4:21 PM / 22 days ago

ECB's new chief supervisor pick clears key confirmation hurdle

FILE PHOTO: Andrea Enria, chairperson of the European Banking Authority, speaks at Reuters Summit interview in London, Britain, September 25, 2017. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Italian Andrea Enria cleared one of the last remaining hurdles on Tuesday to become the European Central Bank’s top supervisor from January after an influential European Parliament committee endorsed his nomination.

Enria, who has chaired the London-based European Banking Authority since 2011, is bidding to head the Single Supervisory Mechanism, which oversees the euro zone’s 118 top lenders, with many still reeling from the last recession and facing new challenges from hacking to fintech.

The Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs voted overwhelmingly in favor of Enria, even if some parliamentarians had earlier expressed frustration over the ECB’s decision to pick Enria over Central Bank of Ireland Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery.

Enria still needs the support of the full European Parliament and relevant ministers but these steps are largely seen as formality and the committee vote suggests that confirmation is all but assured.

A former supervisor at the Bank of Italy and the ECB, Enria is viewed as politically neutral and even frustrated some at home for what was seen as an overly tough stance on unpaid bank loans and credit to small companies.

If finally confirmed, Enria will take over from Daniele Nouy for a five-year, non-renewable term from Jan 1.

Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Francesco Canepa; Editing by David Stamp

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