Sunday 19 November 2017

EU says new international bank rules may be too tough

European Central Bank HQ in Frankfurt. Photo: Ralph Orlowski
European Central Bank HQ in Frankfurt. Photo: Ralph Orlowski

Julien Ponthus and Maya Nikolaeva

The Basel Committee's current proposals do not at this stage fully respect earlier commitments to not significantly increase overall capital requirements for banks, ECB Governing Council Member Francois Villeroy de Galhau said yesterday.

His comments added to a European Banking Federation warning that new international rules under review could require European banks to raise hundreds of billions of euro in fresh capital, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

The Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, as well as finance ministers of the G20 said earlier this year that there should be no overall significant increase in capital on top of the Basel III requirements introduced after the 2007-08 financial crisis.

"At this stage, the current technical proposals made by the Basel Committee do not appear to fully respect this pledge," Mr Villeroy de Galhau said at a Paris conference yesterday.

The French central bank governor called on the Basel Committee not to put good practices in some countries at a disadvantage, referring to the French model of providing mortgage loans depending on borrowers' repayment capacity.

"The work of the Basel (Committee) should not question virtuous national specificities," he said.

"The finalisation of Basel III should offer banks a long-term and clear framework," he told a conference in Paris, calling for a finalisation by the end of the year.

"There can't be a Basel IV - the overuse of catchy phrases like this does not always reflect well on their users." (Reuters)

Irish Independent

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