Global supervisor committee to review banking market turmoil

The Limmat river and the city are seen early morning in Zurich
The Limmat river and the city are seen early morning in Zurich, Switzerland March 21, 2023. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - The main global committee of banking supervisors is to review this month's banking market turmoil to see what lessons can be learnt and whether regulations may need tightening.

The Switzerland-based Basel Committee said in a statement it had met in Hong Kong "to take stock of recent market developments and risks to the global banking system and related vulnerabilities."

It said it had also discussed "a range of policy and supervisory initiatives" and urged rule setters to be "vigilant".

"The Committee will continue to closely monitor bank and market developments and assess the financial stability risks of higher interest rates".

The comments come after the emergency rescue of Credit Suisse at the weekend and collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank in the U.S. this month triggered some of the worst turbulence in banking markets since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

As well as the current stresses, the Committee approved a workplan to "assess and mitigate" the risks stemming from cryptoasset markets, which have also seen widespread turmoil over the last year.

The plan includes targeted reviews of "Group 1" stablecoins - cryptocurrencies pegged to a fiat currency like the dollar or other real world asset - and what are known as "permissionless blockchains".

It will monitor banks’ activities and exposures to cryptoassets as well, including their role as potential issuers of stablecoins or tokenised deposits, and as custodians.

A consultation paper is also due to be published by the end of the year on what banks should disclose when it comes to climate change risks - such as whether rising sea levels or more frequent droughts or storms would lead to more loans defaults.

"The purpose of the framework is to provide additional bank disclosures about the prudential risks," the Committee said, adding it would complement parallel initiatives by the International Sustainability Standards Board and other authorities.

Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by Amanda Cooper, William Maclean

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