Slow progress on Basel III as nations delay

Michael Bow
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LESS than half of the world’s top economies have put tough new rules in place to make banks safer – three months after they were due to start being phased in, a report out yesterday said.

New regulations on capital requirements for banks – known as Basel III – were supposed to be phased-in at the turn of the year, after 27 leading central banks around the world agreed to adopt them.

But a progress report from the Bank for International Settlements has found just 11 had put the law in place, with 16 countries – including the UK and US – lagging.

Ten of the 16 still to implement the rules are waiting for the EU to decide what to do before following suit.

EU politicians have agreed the new law should come into force before the summer, and be applicable from January 2014 onwards. The UK, along with a host of other countries, including Germany, France and Spain, will follow the EU’s lead.

Basel III is designed to strengthen banks’ liquidity to help offset problems encountered during the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008.

The final implementation deadline was extended at the start of the year from 2015 to 2019.