New bank rules will make European lenders uncompetitive in a global marketplace and render consolidation more likely, Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann said on Monday.

As we consider bank levies, higher capital requirements and a transaction tax we seem to have forgotten that we are in a global marketplace, Ackermann told a banking conference.

The likelihood that competitors die off or merge with others is higher than ever, he said.

European bank chiefs are struggling to reposition their businesses to survive the debt crisis as they are being forced to choose between writing new business and building capital to strengthen their balance sheets

Global watchdogs have imposed new rules requiring banks to hold a minimum of 7 percent capital from 2013, and possibly 3 percent more on top of that for big banks.

The need to hike capital levels and shed risky assets has fundamentally changed the business environment for lenders, Ackermann said.

Cross-border international business models will be even more difficult to implement, he told an audience of central bankers, politicians and chief executives.

The tighter the regulatory framework, the more likely the rules will be different from country to country, which would drastically raise the fixed costs of an international strategy.

Ackermann said European regulators need to keep in mind the cumulative impact of new bank rules and what this could mean for the competitiveness of the sector as a whole.

Amid efforts to make the financial sector safer, they are no longer thinking about what new rules could mean for Europe's ability to compete, he said.

Banks are being forced to raise their capital levels in response to European efforts to contain the sovereign debt crisis that has engulfed Greece. Banks have agreed to voluntarily write down 50 percent of their Greek sovereign debt holdings as part of a private-sector contribution towards a bailout of Greece.

The fact that sovereign debt is now looked upon as a risky asset is the price to pay for private-sector involvement, Ackermann said.

It is extremely important to explain that Greece was an exception in terms of the private sector extending its hand, he added.

(Editing by Sophie Walker)