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German public banks must boost deposit protection funds - Helaba

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany's public-sector lenders need to increase a protection scheme for their depositors by up to 3 billion euros ($3.95 billion) to comply with new European banking standards, according to the head of one of the banks.

"We need to top up today's funds by 2-3 billion euros over a time span of 10-15 years," Hans-Dieter Brenner, chief executive of regional bank Helaba (HLHTG.UL), said, adding the lenders would be able to accomplish this.

German savings banks and the regional landesbanks, which have about 800 billion euros in deposits, are in early-stage negotiations over how to implement the new rules, which form a pillar of Europe's plans for a banking union.

The proposals require lenders to set aside cash reserves for at least 1 percent of deposits worth up to 100,000 euros.

The landesbanks and savings banks have yet to decide who should carry the main burden of topping up the scheme, since it is already clear that the existing safety net for bank savings will need to be changed.

The landesbanks - which belong to state governments and whose main purpose is to support their regional economy - lost billions of euros on risky investments in the financial crisis.

(Reporting by Andreas Kroener; Editing by John Stonestreet)