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FRANKFURT, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Germany's markets regulator Bafin on Tuesday said a deadline to establish a euro zone bank regulator by January 1, 2013 will likely be delayed by a year.
European Union leaders agreed at the end of June to set up a single supervisor to oversee 6,000 banks in Europe, with the aim of having it in place by the end of the year. But Elke Koenig, head of Germany's markets regulator said such a deadline was unrealistic.
Speaking to German television, Koenig said, "I could imagine that we get there in January 2014. That's a guess."
Unified supervision is seen as a first step towards creating a banking union and allowing the euro zone to directly recapitalise banks to break the vicious circle linking indebted governments and their troubled banks.
Germany has repeatedly clashed with Brussels over plans to give the European Central Bank (ECB) new banking supervision powers, saying it was unrealistic for it to oversee more than the bloc's biggest institutions.
Late on Tuesday Koenig said that although she supported the idea of common supervision in principle, she hasn't understood how the transition from national to pan-European supervision will work in practice.
"I support the idea of a strong European regulator. But I have not seen a roadmap of how we get there," she said.
"The last thing we can afford is to have an interregnum between those who are no longer responsible and those who are not yet in a position to act," Koenig said.
Germany has long opposed key elements of a European Banking Union, most notably the idea of a common deposit guarantee scheme.
(Reporting by Kerstin Doerr; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
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Keywords: GERMANY BANKS/WATCHDOG