There’s a new sheriff in town…

…and his name is Andrea Enria.  The former Bank of Italy official has taken over as chairman of the brand new chairman of the European Banking Authority.  The Financial Times reports that Enria said that the financial crisis had highlighted the weakness of consensual efforts to co-ordinate banking regulation in Europe and that the EBA would need to use its new powers – enshrined in a “single rule book” – to take a stronger line.

“I think now it has to be a little bit more top-down,” Mr Enria told the Financial Times in his first interview since being confirmed as EBA chairman. “The senior people here should engage in real policy discussions, take decisions and make things happen. The ‘single rule book’ is the true power. If we start having regulatory competition again, it will be havoc.”

Naturally, bankers are already beginning to worry out loud about how the new set-up will bypass national institutions in favor of a central European regulator.  I interpret this as a concern that banks will find it harder to forum shop–that is, to locate in the jurisdiction with the least stringent regulation.

Let’s hope that the new EBA has the powers and resources to make good on Mr. Enria’s opening salvo.