Darling squares up to EU over regulatory powers

CHANCELLOR Alistair Darling faces a fight with European counterparts tomorrow over his opposition to any new pan-European regulator having executive power over the UK&rsquo;s financial institutions.<br /><br />Darling is in favour of an EU-wide supervisory body that would identify and warn of systemic risks in the European banking sector.<br /><br />But at tomorrow&rsquo;s Ecofin meeting of European finance ministers, the chancellor will lay out the government&rsquo;s opposition to any new supervisory body having power over British firms.<br /><br />A spokesman for the Treasury said: &ldquo;We support a single rule-making body. But we don&rsquo;t support that body having supervisory powers over banks because we believe that needs to be a matter for national supervisors, who are best placed to respond to a crisis.&rdquo;<br /><br />Darling was one of the first finance ministers in Europe to call for an independent international supervisor, in a letter sent to his opposite numbers in March.<br /><br />But the British government has always been against any such body having direct supervisory powers as it would lack local knowledge.<br /><br />City minister Lord Myners said last week that national governments were &ldquo;the only bodies capable of providing any fiscal support to firms&rdquo;.