The European Union's banking watchdog announced on Thursday a multi-year project to simplify data reporting for the bloc's 6,000 lenders, creating a central hub to replace the multiple agencies to which they currently submit information.
The European Banking Authority (EBA) said a two-year feasibility study had concluded an integrated reporting system could be built so banks "define data once and report once" and improve the ability of regulators to analyse figures.
"Achieving an integrated reporting system will require strong commitment from all parties involved so as to ensure further data comparability, data sharing and coordination of reporting processes," the EBA said in a statement.
A first step will be to create a common "data dictionary" to ensure the data reported from banks across the EU is comparable so that regulators can analyse bloc-wide trends and build-up of risks.
The EBA gave no indication how much an integrated IT system based on the data dictionary would cost or how much money would be saved by banks in the longer run.
A 'big bang' move is ruled out, however.
"Any change should be implemented gradually so as not to disrupt the current processes and should foster the principle of proportionality," the EBA said.
It will consult with banks through an informal joint committee to build a more detailed roadmap and cost estimates.