Five nations call for single EU bank regulator by January

VALLETTA, Malta, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Five European Unionnations meeting in Malta called for the next meeting of theregion's leaders in October to make progress toward setting up asingle banking regulator by the end of the year so that it canbe running in 2013.

The leaders of France, Malta, Spain, Italy, and Portugal meton the small island country on Friday at a summit with NorthAfrican countries. EU leaders will meet in Brussels on Oct. 18and 19.

The leaders "agreed that the next European Council must pavethe way towards the establishment of a single European bankingsupervision system, to be decided before the end of the year andoperational by January 2013," a joint statement said.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie. Writing by Steve Scherer)