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Banks win extra year for basel capital rule

According to the latest estimate by the European Banking Authority, banks would need about 125 billion euros ($138 billion) to comply with the standards as agreed by the Basel Committee in 2017.

Bloomberg|
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 08.40 AM IST
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Bank
The delay to the Basel rules adds to the unprecedented steps authorities have taken to help banks weather the fallout of the global pandemic.
Global banking regulators delayed billions of dollars in new capital requirements by a year to January 2023 to let the industry respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision applies to tough restrictions on how banks assess the risks of everything from mortgages to equities and complex derivatives handled by trading desks on Wall Street and around the world.

“It is important that banks and supervisors are able to commit their full resources to respond to the impact of Covid-19,” François Villeroy de Galhau, chairman of the Basel group of central bank governors, said in a statement. “This includes providing critical services to the real economy and ensuring that the banking system remains financially and operationally resilient.”

In Europe, regulators had been planning to start putting the rules on the books in the coming months --under protest from banks, which have campaigned to soften the regulations when they’re turned into European Union law. According to the latest estimate by the European Banking Authority, banks would need about 125 billion euros ($138 billion) to comply with the standards as agreed by the Basel Committee in 2017.

The full force of the regulations is now set to be phased in between January 2023 and January 2028. The new set of capital rules for trading desks -- known as the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book -- will also start in January 2023.

The delay to the Basel rules adds to the unprecedented steps authorities have taken to help banks weather the fallout of the global pandemic. The European Central Bank freed up 120 billion euros of capital by letting banks dip into their financial cushions, enabling them to better absorb losses and support lending.

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