Europe Economy

US will reach solution on shutdown: ECB's Asmussen

Reported by Annette Weisbach, written by Katrina Bishop
Fed decisions 'spill over' to other economies: ECB's Asmussen

The government of the United States will "find a solution" to the current shutdown "before the critical moment arises", a leading member of the European Central Bank told CNBC.

ECB Executive Board Member Joerg Asmussen expressed confidence in the U.S. government, which is currently in partial shutdown because of the failure to reach agreement over a budget.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC, the German economist and politician also reminded its central bank the Federal Reserve of its importance to global markets. Janet Yellen, currently vice-chairman of the Fed, is expected to be confirmed as Ben Bernanke's successor as chairman on Wednesday morning.

(Read more: Yellen cheer for markets)

"As the major central bank of the globe, any decision they take has spill overs to other advanced economies, to emerging market economies," Asmussen said.

This was proved last month after an expected announcement of a "taper" or gradual end to the Fed's asset purchasing program did not happen, which had a positive effect on emerging markets.

In his role at the ECB, Asmussen has had to address concerns that ordinary European savers could be affected, if the ongoing bailout of struggling economies like Portugal and Greece means deposits could be called on.

Depositors could still be tapped if a European bank lender failed in the future, he conceded but stressed it would only be as a last resort.

Asmussen said depositors would only face losses in "very rare and unlikely circumstances — because all other liability classes have to be tapped before that".

A levy on depositors or "bail-in" occurred in March this year, when Cyprus and its international lenders imposed a toll on uninsured bank deposits over 100,000 euros ($136,000), as part of a rescue deal to solve the country's financial crisis.

(Read more: Banking union needed 'as soon as possible': Trichet)

But Asmussen stressed the Cypriot situation was "unique", because of the structure of the country's banking sector, and because there was no existing legal framework to deal with it.

Expect gradual recovery in euro zone: ECB's Asmussen

"We had to come up with an ad hoc solution," Asmussen told CNBC, in an interview with aired on Wednesday.

"This will be different in the future, when we have the bank resolution and recovery directive in place," he added, referring to the European Union's draft bill to establish a framework for the recovery and wind-up of failing banks.

Asmussen comments came amid debate about the desirability and feasibility of a Europe-wide banking union.

The ECB has pushed for a system that would move supervision of the financial sector to a pan-European level, but Germany wants responsibility for bailing-out failed banks to remain with individual countries.

(Read more: Europe's banks face $95 billion funding shortfall)

Europe's finance ministers are agreed, however, on a "bail-in" process for bank rescues in the future, which will see larger losses imposed on shareholders and bondholders. The guidelines are designed to protect taxpayers, who were heavily hit by a string of bank bailouts out at the height of the financial crisis.

Asmussen stressed that deposits of less than 100,000 euros would still be protected under these new rules, which have been hailed as a significant step towards forming a banking union.

"Depositors only will be tapped at the very end if all other means are exhausted — there is a clear depositor preference," he said.

By CNBC's Katrina Bishop. Follow her on Twitter @KatrinaBishop