Regulators from around the world tied off the final round of new regulations for banks in Frankfurt on Thursday, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision said in a statement, closing a saga begun at the height of the financial crisis. Completing the so-called “Basel III” reforms “represents a major milestone that will make the capital framework more robust and improve confidence in banking systems,” European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said after the meeting, which brought together regulators and central banks from major advanced economies like the United States and the European Union as well as emerging nations such as China, India and Brazil. The committee — named after its headquarters at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland — agreed a final set of rules to complete a new round of bank regulation begun in mid-2010.
They include compromises on how regulators treat the risks banks run from their lending business, from financial market activities and from “operational risks” ranging from human error to acts of God. In particular, the deal puts an end to EU-US wrangling over how should be calculated the amount of capital banks should keep on hand to weather financial shocks. And the supervisors and central bankers also pushed back deadlines, giving lawmakers time to implement the new global rules and banks time to prepare for their application.
“Now that the Basel III regulatory reform agenda is complete, we must focus on the important task of ensuring the standards are implemented consistently around the world,” Basel Committee chairman and Swedish central bank chief Stefan Ingves said. Most of the changes are expected to only take effect from 2022.