European Central Bank President Mario Draghi says it's "imperative" to create an agency with powers to restructure busted banks so that Europe can leave its economic and financial crisis behind.

Draghi said the step would keep troubled banks from burdening governments with bailout costs — severing a vicious link that has helped drive Europe's three-year crisis over too much debt.

The new agency, dubbed the single resolution mechanism, would be able to force banks' creditors and shareholders take losses first when a bank goes under — instead of getting taxpayers to foot the bill.

European leaders have already agreed to put the ECB in charge of supervising banks, probably by next year. However, they have not yet settled on how to proceed with the resolution mechanism.