Canada bank regulator not interested in top central bank job

Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:45am EST

* Julie Dickson says has "no interest" in replacing Carney

* Head of OSFI plays down U.S., European Basel II delays

* Canada banks to start phasing in capital rules in 2013

TORONTO, Dec 12 (Reuters) - The head of Canada's financial services regulatory agency said on Wednesday she has no interest in replacing Mark Carney as governor of the Bank of Canada.

Julie Dickson, Canada's Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), also played down concerns that delays in adopting Basel III rules in the United States and possibly Europe will lead to an uneven playing field with Canada.

Dickson had been pegged early as a candidate to replace the current Bank of Canada governor, Mark Carney, who will step down next May to take on the top job at the Bank of England.

"I have absolutely no interest," she told reporters following a presentation in Toronto.

OSFI released final plans earlier this week for Canadian banks to begin to phase in stricter Basel III capital standards on Jan. 1, 2013.

The standards were conceived by global regulators as a means of beefing up the banking industry's ability to withstand another financial crisis.

U.S. regulators, however, have said they need more time to put the rules in place, while the European Union also is expected to seek more time.

Dickson played down concerns that this would lead to an uneven playing field, which is something some Canadian bank CEOs have said publicly they are worried about.

She said the largest U.S. banks would undergo stress tests under which they would be required to match the Basel III rules, and said that she was comforted that both EU and U.S. regulators have indicated a commitment to meet the standards.

"It would be different if I was hearing that they were not committed to getting there, but given that they are saying that they are committed, I'll go with that for now," she said.

Canada's big banks have all said they are above the 2013 standards, which force banks to hold more capital on their balance sheets, which could leave less for business expansion and items such as share buybacks and dividend payouts.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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