January 17, 2013 / 5:06 PM / in 5 years

British central bank's Jenkins says Basel rules not up to job

LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - New global rules forcing banks to hold more capital and cash to shield taxpayers and make the financial system safer won’t achieve their aim, a UK regulatory policymaker warned on Thursday.

Robert Jenkins, a member of the Bank of England’s (BoE) Financial Policy Committee, said the Basel III accord, agreed by world leaders (G20) for implementation over six years from this month, does not go far enough.

Basel III requires banks to more than triple the amount of capital they hold and have separate cash buffers so taxpayers are less likely to have to rescue them again should another financial crisis occur.

“Will Basel III do the job? My personal opinion is that it won‘t,” Jenkins told reporters.

He said his view was echoed by a growing body of academics and others on the FPC such as Andrew Haldane, the Bank’s director of financial stability.

Haldane and other regulators such as Thomas Hoenig, vice-chairman of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, think the Basel accord is too complicated to work.

The FPC sets the tone and direction of regulation in Britain and from April, the BoE becomes the main regulator for lenders.

Jenkins, a former banker and asset manager, said the Jan. 6 decision by the Basel Committee of regulators to alter one of the Basel III rules forcing banks to build up cash buffers, did not amount to a loosening.

“I don’t see any evidence for it at the moment,” Jenkins said. “I am more encouraged by the greater frequency of tougher comment than in the past.”

“This is a long game and it’s not over yet.”

The European Union and United States have yet to introduce formal rules to implement Basel - eventhough all of the big banks on their turf already meet or exceed the capital they are required to hold by 2019.

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