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REFILE-German regulator: 'no euro zone bank watchdog until 2014'

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FRANKFURT, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Germany's markets regulatorBafin on Tuesday said a deadline to establish a euro zone bankregulator by January 1, 2013 will likely be delayed by a year.

European Union leaders agreed at the end of June to set up asingle supervisor to oversee 6,000 banks in Europe, with the aimof having it in place by the end of the year. But Elke Koenig,head of Germany's markets regulator said such a deadline wasunrealistic.

Speaking to German television, Koenig said, "I could imaginethat we get there in January 2014. That's a guess."

Unified supervision is seen as a first step towards creatinga banking union and allowing the euro zone to directlyrecapitalise banks to break the vicious circle linking indebtedgovernments and their troubled banks.

Germany has repeatedly clashed with Brussels over plans togive the European Central Bank (ECB) new banking supervisionpowers, saying it was unrealistic for it to oversee more thanthe bloc's biggest institutions.

Late on Tuesday Koenig said that although she supported theidea of common supervision in principle, she hasn't understoodhow the transition from national to pan-European supervisionwill work in practice.

"I support the idea of a strong European regulator. But Ihave not seen a roadmap of how we get there," she said.

"The last thing we can afford is to have an interregnumbetween those who are no longer responsible and those who arenot yet in a position to act," Koenig said.

Germany has long opposed key elements of a European BankingUnion, most notably the idea of a common deposit guaranteescheme.

(Reporting by Kerstin Doerr; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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Keywords: GERMANY BANKS/WATCHDOG