The European Union (EU) is pushing ahead with Basel III capital standards to avoid delays. Bloomberg reports that the EU’s financial services chief, Michel Barnier, stated in an interview that, “We need agreed rules as soon as possible so that banks know which way they are going.”
March 22 Deadline for Basel III
Lawmakers and EU negotiators will meet tomorrow to try and settle disputes over banker bonuses, financial reporting requirements and the amount of power retained by national regulators. A document outlining the EU’s planning warned that the EU should finish its laws on these new rules by March 22.
Bloomberg indicates that if deadlines aren’t met next month, the EU would run out of time to meet their January 2014 target date to implement the Basel III accord. Missing the March deadline could potentially force the EU to shorten the transition period, putting strain on lenders to adjust by the start of next year. Barnier spoke to this delay, saying, “The commission is very attached to having a working single regime.”
Basel III Measures
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision unites banking regulators from 27 nations including the U.S., U.K., and China to coordinate their rule-making. The Basel III measures, which must be written into national laws, could triple the core capital lenders must hold, and set industry standards for how lenders should manage risks. Negotiations on the Basel rule have come to a standstill regarding how much additional capital should be required for systemically important financial institutions and banker bonuses.
Lawmakers are encouraging the EU to include in the capital rules a requirement for country-by-country reports on profits, losses and taxes, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg. Many nations are hesitant to expand the scope of the capital rules, and are waiting until a separate accounting legislation to debate the topic.