Wednesday 26 July 2017

'State must defy Europe's new bank capital rules' - Hayes

Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Irish banks should not be subject to tough new capital rules, and there should be a public debate on how standards for lenders are set, Fine Gael MEP Brian Hayes said yesterday.

He made the comments as the Basel Committee of bank supervisors from nearly 30 countries is due to produce the new "Basel IV" rules, setting standards for how much all lenders must set aside to cope with losses.

The rules aim to avoid a repeat of the financial crisis of 2007-09, when taxpayers had to bail out under-capitalised lenders. But they face resistance in Europe where many lenders carry high levels of bad loans.

"The European Parliament's ECON Committee is currently fast-tracking a resolution through the parliament stating that new Basel Rules should not lead to a significant increase in capital requirements," Mr Hayes said. "The Government must be firm in defying new capital rules for Irish banks when this issue comes to the EU negotiations. Whatever the European Commission proposes, the Government must stick to this line. The new Basel rules must not lead to more banking paralysis," he said.

Yesterday, the German banking association called for an extension to the timetable to decide on new international banking regulation.

Meanwhile, in Brussels, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan expressed scepticism about EU plans to harmonise taxes.

The draft rules for a common consolidated corporate tax base are a revival and update of a 2011 proposal that foundered in technical talks and was eventually withdrawn.

"On the first issue - a common tax base - it has moved very little since the proposals were published in 2011," Mr Hayes said.

Irish Independent

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