November 27, 2018 / 1:38 AM / in 21 days

Australia regulator extends deadline on new capital rules for loans to 2022

(Reuters) - Australia’s banking regulator on Tuesday proposed extending the deadline for implementing new capital rules on some loans to Jan. 1, 2022, after lenders raised concerns about the impact on their competitiveness against foreign rivals.

The Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) in February proposed that lenders adopt higher risk weightings on some kinds of loans as the government passed laws aimed at avoiding public bailouts of banks in a crisis.

APRA had planned to implement the revisions on Jan. 1, 2021, but said on Tuesday it “is proposing to revise this based on industry concerns about the business impact of moving ahead of international competitors.”

Addressing concerns about the calculation methods to be used, APRA said it required institutions to largely follow the Basel III methodology to calculate their leverage ratios.

The proposed changes come as Australia moves to finalize the implementation of the Basel III capital rules, which are being adopted worldwide to bolster bank defenses against risk.

The regulator said it is seeking industry feedback on the draft standards and welcomed suggestions from interested parties by Feb. 22, 2019.

Australian banks are under scrutiny as a government-backed inquiry looks into allegations of bribery, fraud, the charging of fees for no service, as well as board-level deception of regulators.

Reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; editing by Darren Schuettler

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