Eurozone finance ministers have thrashed out a deal overnight on rules for supervising banks in the single currency bloc.
The move will see around 200 of the biggest banks in the eurozone come under the supervision of the European Central Bank (ECB), in a move designed to help protect the single currency from future financial crises.
With the new supervisory powers in place, the ECB will be able to act early on to prevent a systemically dangerous accumulation of debt on any eurozone bank's balance sheets.
In it together: The banking supervisor decision brings the eurozone one step closer to a single banking union
Struggling financial institutions will also be able to tap Europe's emergency bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, directly.
Officials said the ECB would regulate some 150 to 200 banks directly, mostly major cross-border systemic lenders and state aided institutions, with the power to delve into all 6,000 banks in case of problems.