European Union leaders vowed to push for global taxes on banks and financial transactions, setting the stage for a conflict over worldwide regulation at next week's Group of 20 meeting.

With Germany, Britain and France in lockstep on the need to clamp down on financial speculation, the EU called for taxes that have run into opposition from G-20 powers such as China.

"We want a system of levies and taxes for financial institutions to ensure fair burden-sharing and rein in systemic risks," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters after an EU summit in Brussels today. "We also want a global system."

Europe said it will put up a united front at the G-20, which has refused to endorse a bank tax under pressure from Canada, China and Brazil.

Proposals for taxes on securities transactions weren't detailed, with a summit statement saying only that they should be "explored and developed" in concert with the world's leading economies.

Canada, one of the opponents of a global tax, has proposed forcing lenders to keep "contingent capital" on hand to spare taxpayers the cost of future bailouts.

Such securities could convert to equity in a crisis to keep lenders well capitalized.

At the two-day meeting, the leaders also agreed to publish the results of "stress tests" on major banks by the end of July in order to prop up confidence in financial institutions still coping with the aftermath of the 2008 market meltdown.

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