Sunday, December 9, 2012

BIS not worried by U.S. delay of Basel III bank rules

    The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) is looking forward to full implementation of the new Basel III banking regulations and is not worried by the United States' delay in applying the global rules.
    BIS Economic Adviser Stephen Cecchetti said "some jurisdictions are having small technical problems on meeting the exact timetable to which they have committed so there are modest and immaterial delays."
    Last month the United States said it had delayed indefinitely the implementation of Basel III beyond the internationally-agreed date of January 1, 2013 due to the high volume of comments received and the range of views that were expressed.
    The delay raised fears that other countries could backtrack on their commitments to implement the new tougher banking rules following criticism by both U.S. and UK officials that the Basel III rules were too complex and should be redrafted.
    But Cecchetti said the Basel III rules had been agreed by global leaders and were now in the process of being implemented.
   The Financial Stability Board (FSB), which monitors the implementation of global financial rules, said in October that only eight of 27 countries had issued their new banking rules so it was highly likely that only six of 28 global systemically important banks would be subject to Basel III in January.
    Although the U.S. Federal Reserve did not give a new date for the implementation of Basel III, it said it was working as hard as possible to complete the rule-making process.
    Despite the delay, U.S. banks in fact already exceed Basel minimum capital requirements and will be subject to stress tests early next year that reflect Basel III requirements.
    Swiss-based BIS, also known as the central bankers' bank, houses the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the body of global supervisors that agreed on Basel III in 2010, along with the FSB and other global financial institutions.
    The Basel III rules and timetable have been endorsed many times by global political leaders, most recently by the Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Mexico last month.
    Apart from the delays in implementing Basel III, Cecchetti said other jurisdictions had inconsistencies with the rules and these had to be addressed so implementation could proceed.
    "The earlier we incorporate the new standards into national legislation, the easier will be the transition, the lower the costs of regulatory uncertainty and the sooner we will start to benefit from stability and a solid foundation of the system," Cecchetti told reporters in a telephone conference.




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