German minister asks bankers to help with regulation

January 20, 2014
German's Finance Minister Schaeuble attends a news conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris
German's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends a news conference at the Bercy Finance Ministry in Paris December 19, 2013. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble on Monday urged financiers to use their knowledge to improve international rules aimed at preventing future financial crises.

Schaeuble told a group of some 1,000 commercial and central bankers, brokers and politicians at exchange operator Deutsche Boerse's New Year's reception there could be no end to regulation because financial markets continue to innovate.

Regulators are aware of the need for strong capital markets, Schaeuble said, pledging to take the arguments of the financial sector seriously and try to proceed with moderation.

"So don't invest your energy and competence only in warding off new regulation, but rather help to find better solutions and to put them in place internationally," Schaeuble said.

"I am asking you simply to pitch in," he added.

Schaeuble's appeal struck a more conciliatory tone following a spat last year with Deutsche Bank Co-Chief Executive Juergen Fitschen over how far regulation should go.

Schaeuble argued in a newspaper interview in December last year that banks remained creative in getting around regulation.

Fitschen, in his capacity as head of Germany's BDB banking association, had responded: "It's unacceptable for people to stand there and say that banks are still circumventing the rules."

(Reporting by Jonathan Gould, editing by David Evans)