PARIS (Reuters) - The European Central Bank will hire over 1,000 new staff, drawn from national authorities and the private sector, to supervise the euro zone's banks, senior policymaker Yves Mersch said on Wednesday.
Mersch, a member of the ECB's six-man executive board, told an audience in Paris the figure would be far lower than the 2,000 initially cited in a consultants' report because of the way the ECB will share duties with national authorities. The last reported estimate was 800, cited by media in May.
"We will start with nothing less than 1,000, maybe a little more, he said. "The consensus is emerging now. It will be less than 2,000, maybe a little more than 1,000."
The figures include supervisors and support staff, who will be largely drawn from national authorities. "We are open to recruiting from the private sector," Mersch said. "What matters is excellence."
Rather than having a massive ECB team, the euro zone's central bank will use joint teams of its own staff and officials from national authorities to monitor the largest banks, Mersch said. He gave as an example a bank that now has a team of 60 supervisors and could have between 12 and 15 ECB officials supervising under the new regime, with the remainder drawn from its own and other euro zone national authorities.
"You will have to take a break from being cosy with your national supervisor because he will be accompanied in future," Mersch told the audience of bankers at the closing session of the IIF's spring meeting.
(Reporting by Laura Noonan and Steve Slater; Editing by Catherine Evans)
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