US Senate still plans Basel II hearings; lawmaking pressures build in Europe and Hong Kong

LONDON, September 19 (Global Risk Regulator) – US senators still intend holding hearings this autumn on currently stalled US plans for implementing the controversial Basel II rules for bolstering global banking safety, but it’s now unlikely they will take place this month as earlier hoped.

Meanwhile, in Europe urgent last-minute talks are taking place to iron out the co-called comitology problem before the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), the law giving effect to Basel II in the European Union, goes before the European Parliament for approval next week. Some observers think the parliamentary vote might be held over until October if achieving a worthwhile solution were to take longer than the next couple of days.

And Hong Kong regulators have warned that meeting the legislative timetable for bringing the complex, risk-focused Basel II capital adequacy rules into effect in China’s special administrative region will require a substantial commitment of resources from supervisors, government and the banking industry.

Early in October US banking regulators are expected to tell their fellow top supervisors from Canada, Europe and Japan on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the architect of Basel II, what they’ve found from their further study of some worrying results of a test of the Basel II requirements on US banks. The Committee, which in effect regulates international banking, is holding a regular quarterly meeting on October 3 and 4 in Basel, Switzerland.

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