The European Union on Thursday agreed to make the European Central Bank its top banking supervisor, "giving EU leaders confidence that they are gaining the upperhand over the euro zone's debt crisis." Officials said the ECB would regulate some 150 to 200 banks directly, mostly major cross-border systemic lenders and state-aided institutions, with the power to delve into all 6,000 banks in case of problems. The complex process, however, could take several years and will require "political commitment from euro zone and non-euro members alike, something that countries such as Britain, with a restive Eurosceptic population, will find particularly stressful."
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