BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French banks may be the biggest contributors to the euro zone's bank resolution fund, with those from Germany a very close second, under one option of calculating the amounts due in 2015-2024, a European Commission paper prepared for finance ministers showed.
The Single Resolution Fund (SRF), to which all euro zone banks will contribute, is intended to finance the winding down of failed institutions so that taxpayers no longer have to bear the burden.
Ministers are due to decide between four methods of calculating the euro zone banks' contributions later on Monday.
The SRF is to be filled gradually from the banks' contributions and to reach its full size, equal to 1 percent of all deposits of up to 100,000 euros in euro zone banks, in 2024.
The Commission paper put that total at 55.70 billion euros ($68.32 billion).
Under one of the four methods of calculating contributions, French banks would contribute 15.479 billion euros to the fund from 2015 to 2024, while German financial institutions would pay 15.352 billion, the Commission paper seen by Reuters showed.
The two biggest euro zone economies would thus together finance more than 55 percent of the fund.
Under that option, Italy, the third biggest euro zone economy, would contribute 5.825 billion euros, Spain 5.356 billion and the Netherlands 4.219 billion. Ireland would pay 1.84 billion, Greece only 629 million and Cyprus 113.8 million.
The smallest contribution would come from Estonia - 23 million euros.
Under a second method of calculation the contributions of France and Germany would be virtually the same. Under the remaining two, Germany would pay in marginally more than France.
The options differ very slightly, according to the amounts smaller banks would contribute and assessments for the transition year 2015.
($1 = 0.8153 euros)
Reporting by Francesco Guarascio, writing by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop and Gareth Jones