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In top jobs for a long time: Claudia Buch with the then head of the Bundesbank, Jens Weidmann, at a meeting in the Chancellery in 2018

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

The current Bundesbank Vice-President Claudia Buch is to become head of European Banking Supervision. The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) nominated the economist on Wednesday in a secret ballot for the post, as the European Central Bank announced. In addition to Buch, the Vice-President of the Bank of Spain, Margarita Delgado, was also in the running. However, as SPIEGEL already reported, Buch was the clear favorite.

The 57-year-old succeeds the Italian Andrea Enria, who is leaving office at the end of the year after five years. Now there is still a public hearing at the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the EU Parliament. The European Parliament must also approve the appointment. Finally, the Council of the EU will have to give the green light, but this is considered a formality. "I am very pleased about the confidence of the Governing Council of the ECB and look forward to the next steps in the process at European level," Buch said in an initial reaction to the nomination.

Since autumn 2014, the ECB has been responsible for supervising the major banks in the euro area. ECB Banking Supervision currently controls 109 financial institutions, including Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank and DZ Bank in Germany.

As a member of the Bundesbank's Executive Board, Buch is responsible for the areas of banking and financial supervision, among other things. The economist is already represented as national representative on the ECB's Supervisory Board, which she is to chair from next year. The Board meets every three weeks to discuss, plan and carry out the central bank's supervisory tasks. It also submits draft decisions to the Governing Council.

Involved in global standards

In addition, Buch already has a seat on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, which sets standards worldwide. This is based at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland.

In a recent interview, Buch stressed that it was important to learn lessons from the recent banking turbulence. If necessary, the regulatory framework would have to be readjusted. However, ECB Banking Supervision works very well and has good risk monitoring. But the environment is changing, for banks, companies and society: "That's why we have to further develop our critical supervisory culture," she told Handelsblatt. This includes using our supervisory tools as effectively as possible."

Buch has been Vice-President of the German Central Bank since May 2014. From 2012 to 2014, the economics professor was a member of the German Council of Economic Experts. Born in Paderborn, she had also been under discussion for a time as the successor to former Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann. However, the post was given to her former board colleague Joachim Nagel.