Germany is opposing the idea enforced capital buffers in the short term
European finance ministers have agreed proposals which would force banks to put aside more money in good times to help them weather tougher periods.
The plans are aimed at helping to stop financial institutions from lending too much money when economic growth is high and to lend more in bad times.
The EU's European Commission is due to create legislation in October.
The pledge is similar to plans already agreed by the US and UK and among those put forward at April's G20 summit.
However, European finance ministers have clashed with Germany, which wants to delay the changes - saying that restrictions will make it harder for banks to get out of the recession in reasonable shape.
The proposals, the so-called Basel II rules on capital requirements, are aimed at ensuring that the 27-nation EU is better prepared for any repeat of the global financial crisis.
"We need to see stronger buffers in banks in good times. It is important that we mend the banking system so that credit gets running again," said Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, whose country holds the EU's presidency.
"We need stronger regulation, more efficient regulation."
European finance ministers also criticised bonuses and remuneration at banks, saying that "inappropriate incentives, short-termism and inadequate capture of risk" had allowed banks take on massive risks.
"There are obviously systemic implications for how the remunerations are set," Mr Borg said.
Germany said that it would continue with its plans for the Basel II rules to be relaxed - arguing that that the supply of credit would dry up and put firms at risk of collapse in the midst of recession.
"What we're saying is that, in this particular situation, which will hopefully be over soon, we need to do what's necessary to get out of this pro-cyclical effect," said German finance minister Peer Steinbruck.
However Mr Borg said there was a "very broad majority of countries that did not have exactly the same view" as Germany.