European Union countries have agreed to allow make the European Central Bank the chief supervisor for banks in the euro zone, EU officials said on Thursday.

"There is a deal," said one EU official.

The new system of supervision should be up and running by the end of next year although ministers agreed that this could be delayed if the ECB needs longer to prepare itself.

(Reporting By John O'Donnell, Robin Emmott and Jan Strupczewski)