Haggling over Europe's Basel II law goes to wire; House committee sets hearings for next week

BRUSSELS, September 23 (Global Risk Regulator) – European Commission sources say they’re confident an agreement will be reached in the next few days to remove a potential barrier to the smooth parliamentary passage next week of the law that will give effect to the complex Basel II bank safety rules in the European Union.

But while hopeful that a solution can be found, a spokesperson for Alexander Radwan, the Bavarian member of the European Parliament (MEP) charged with steering the Capital Requirements Directive (CRD) through the European Parliament, is not quite as certain about whether a deal can be achieved in time.

Failure to get an agreement on the so-called comitology problem by the time Parliament votes on the CRD could threaten a widely hoped-for single parliamentary reading of the directive and delay the EU law-making process by several months.

Meanwhile, in the US, where the publication of regulator plans for implementing Basel II is stalled, the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives plans to hold hearings on "Private Sector Priorities for Basel Reform" on Wednesday (September 28) of next week. A committee spokesperson in Washington says full details of the hearings, along with a list of those giving testimony, is expected to be posted early next week.

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