Vice president of Germany's central bank says new agency to wind up banks needs treaty change

A top official with Germany's central bank says the EU will have to change its basic treaties if a proposed a new agency to wind down busted banks is to "stand on firm ground."

Bundesbank vice-president Sabine Lautenschlaeger said in a speech Tuesday that while European Union definitely needs the agency, but "a change in the basic law is needed."

A treaty change could take years and delay a key part of European banking reform aimed at preventing future crises. European officials say the new agency would keep banking failures and subsequent bailouts from dumping added debt on national governments — a key problem in the eurozone's financial and economic crisis.

Lautenschlaeger's statements backed the position taken by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.