EU Lawmakers Are Said to Back Enria or Donnery for Top ECB Role

(Bloomberg) -- European lawmakers backed Ireland’s Sharon Donnery and Italy’s Andrea Enria to become the region’s top banking supervisor, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee held a closed-door hearing in Strasbourg on Tuesday to assess three shortlisted candidates selected by the European Central Bank’s Governing Council. Donnery, the deputy governor of Ireland’s central bank, and Enria, head of the European Banking Authority, were selected, the person said, asking not to be identified because the process isn’t public.

The Irish Times reported the news earlier. An email to the committee seeking comment wasn’t immediately answered.

Robert Ophele, chair of France’s market regulator, was the third person to be shortlisted. The parliament is still working on an official message about its choices to the Frankfurt-based ECB.

“We had a productive hearing during which a variety of topics were discussed and which gave us a good impression of the quality of the candidates,” Markus Ferber, a German member of the committee, said in an email. “In the end, the discussion on the evaluation focused on two candidates,” he said, without naming them.

Whoever wins the race will succeed France’s Daniele Nouy at the top of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, the ECB’s supervisory arm, on Jan. 1. The Governing Council will choose a single nominee, who must then be approved by the parliament’s plenary and confirmed by European Union governments.

Donnery can count on the support of a bloc of ECB policy makers from northern nations when the Governing Council holds a secret ballot next month, euro-area officials have said. She gained prominence after leading the ECB’s task force for pushing banks to reduce their piles of nonperforming loans.

Enria’s strong suit is his seven years of experience running the EBA, which drafts technical standards for regulating lenders. His candidacy may be overshadowed in the eyes of some by the Italian banking system’s pile of bad debt, the biggest in Europe.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.