News Summary: European bank supervisor step closer

BANK OVERSIGHT: European leaders took a step toward creating a single supervisor next year for banks in countries that use the euro on Friday, but they refused to pin down a start date.

WHY NEEDED: The supervisor needs to be up and running before European countries can work on the next big step in their crisis-fighting plan _ giving their bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, the power to rescue banks directly, bypassing national governments.

FINANCIAL CRISIS: That step is crucial because banks remain at the core of Europe's financial problems. Many are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.