The European Commission is concerned that Germany's banking supervisor could be restricting the free flow of capital to lenders abroad, a newspaper report said on Thursday.
The Commission and the European Banking Authority (EBA) are looking into whether Germany's BaFin banking regulator is curbing the amount of money that can be transferred from bank subsidiaries in Germany to their foreign-based parent bank, Handelsblatt business daily said.
It said BaFin wanted to avoid a bank which falls under its oversight in Germany running into problems if its parent company begins to teeter.
In Brussels, a spokesman for EU Financial Markets Commissioner Michel Barnier said the Commission was looking into the matter, saying it was "an issue that we are concerned about, preoccupied with."
Stefaan De Rynck said the issue "should be solved in the first instance by cooperation among national supervisors," adding that there was "an obligation on different national supervisors to coordinate and cooperate."
"If that can't happen, the EBA can have a role," which would be to mediate.
De Rynck has previously described the free movement of capital and the single market for banks as "fundamental" towards "preserving the integrity of the single market" across Europe.
Banca d'Italia, the Italian central bank, has raised the issue within the EBA, which covers all 27 EU states, the Handelsblatt said, citing unidentified supervisory sources.