LONDON Dec 14 The failure of Europe and the
United States to meet next month's deadline on tougher bank
capital rules won't derail the global accord, regulators said
after they themselves were unable to agree changes to one of the
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision concluded a
two-day meeting on Friday saying 11 countries were ready to
start phasing in its Basel III bank capital and liquidity rules.
The committee is made up of nearly 30 countries but major
financial centres like the European Union and United States are
delaying the start of the world's main regulatory response to
the 2007-09 financial crisis.
The accord requires banks to triple their basic capital
buffers in set stages over six years, with new mandatory
liquidity reserves and a cap on balance sheets added from 2015.
"It is expected that as remaining jurisdictions finalise
their domestic regulations during 2013, they will incorporate
all the remaining transitional deadlines in line with the
original global agreement, committee chairman Stefan Ingves said
in a statement.
He said this would be the case even when they have not been
able to meet the Jan. 1 2013 start date.
"Hence, by the end of 2013, almost all Basel Committee
jurisdictions will be implementing Basel III in accordance with
the agreed timetable," added Ingves, who is also governor of
Sweden's central bank.
"This is an absolutely critical step towards strengthening
the resilience of the global banking system."
Talks to introduce Basel III into European Union law reached
a tentative conclusion on Friday in a deal to delay the start of
formal implementation until January 2014.
The United States is also delaying introduction and
Brazilian financial newspaper Valor said there were talks at the
country's central bank to delay Basel III there as well.
Ingves said even in countries where there were delays,
supervisors were making sure big banks are building up their
In countries like Britain, the United States, Sweden and
Switzerland banks, are already being forced to meet or exceed
what they must hold in capital when Basel is fully implemented.
The committee also discussed how to ease or delay full
implementation of the "liquidity coverage" ratio or LCR, which
will require banks to have a buffer of cash or highly-rated
bonds from 2015 to withstand short-term market turmoil unaided.
The committee was due to agree on changes this month so
banks have enough time to prepare.
A European regulatory source said no overall agreement could
be reached due to differences of opinion and the committee would
have to discuss the liquidity rule again.
"There will be agreement at the level of the committee
regarding the LCR, subject to some further work in 2013. It is a
good deal," a second European regulatory source said.
The Basel Committee was unable to comment immediately.
Regulators will review how Basel III is being applied, but
critics say they have no powers to force a country to implement
the rules on time or in the form written by the committee.