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EU bank regulator says merger with insurance counterpart won't boost regulation

A merger of the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority is "unlikely to create significant synergies" in core areas of regulation and supervision, the chairman of the banking regulator, Andrea Enria, said May 31.

In March, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the future of the operations of the banking regulator, or EBA, the insurance body, or EIOPA, and the European Securities and Markets Authority as it seeks to identify areas where the effectiveness and efficiency of the three European supervisory authorities can be strengthened or improved. In the consultation, the Commission floated the idea of merging the EBA and EIOPA to create a "twin-peaks" model of supervision.

In a letter to the Commission, Enria said he sees potential synergies in areas where the European supervisory authorities are understaffed, such as impact assessment, economic analysis, statistics, data management, human resources and procurement.

However, he did not foresee any material benefit in terms of cost reduction in corporate functions, as resources in these areas are "already very slim."

The EIOPA, meanwhile, said changes to the supervisory setup should be carefully assessed to "ensure the continuation of an effective holistic and integrated approach."