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UPDATE 1-Geithner says will clarify new bank rules quickly

(Recasts; adds comments from question-and-answer session)

WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) - U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday that passage of sweeping financial regulatory reforms will make banks act more responsibly in future and pledged to implement new rules quickly.

“This is the beginning, not the end, of the process of financial reform,” Geithner said in a prepared statement. “This process will take some time, but we are determined to move as quickly as we can to provide clarity and certainty.”

The overhaul of financial rules, undertaken in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis that wracked the economy, will likely be signed into law next week by President Barack Obama.

The new rules, opposed by the banking industry, set new consumer protection standards, give regulators broad powers to dismantled troubled financial; and limit risky trading by banks.

“These rules will make sure that banks -- not the taxpayers -- will pay for future bank failures,” Geithner said, speaking from a hastily erected outdoor podium on the south steps of the U.S. Treasury, next door to the White House.

He took only a few questions from reporters after reading a statement, but Geithner indicated what he sees as the next step as ensuring that both the United States and the rest of the world get into step in tightening standards for banks.

“A core part of the next challenge is making sure we negotiate a strong, international agreement that requires these large banks to hold much stronger reserves, much stronger financial cushions against the risk of loss,” Geithner said.

“I am very confident with the strong hand this legislation gives us, we’re going to be able to bring the world with us in putting in place much stronger capital standards across the financial system,” he added. (Reporting by Mark Felsenthal, Emily Kaiser and David Lawder; writing by Glenn Somerville, Editing by Dan Grebler)

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