Five European Union nations meeting in Malta called for the next meeting of the region's leaders in October to make progress toward setting up a single banking regulator by the end of the year so that it can be running in 2013.
The leaders of France, Malta, Spain, Italy, and Portugal met on the small island country on Friday at a summit with North African countries. EU leaders will meet in Brussels on October 18 and 19.
The leaders "agreed that the next European Council must pave the way towards the establishment of a single European banking supervision system, to be decided before the end of the year and operational by January 2013," a joint statement said.
(Reporting by James Mackenzie. Writing by Steve Scherer)