U.S. Alongside China in Roll Call of Basel Bank-Rule Laggards

The U.S. and China are among eight nations lagging behind in their implementation of international bank-capital rules, according to a report by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The group also called today for regulators to “keep up their efforts” to ensure that they meet a January 2013 deadline to adopt further requirements, known as Basel III.

“Full, timely and consistent implementation of the new capital standards by internationally active banks is a top priority for the Basel committee,” Stefan Ingves, the group’s chairman, said in a statement.

Global regulators have agreed on two overhauls of bank capital and liquidity rules since the financial crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in 2008.

A first set of changes, known as Basel 2.5, boosted the reserves that lenders must hold against assets they intend to trade. Published in 2009, the requirements were scheduled to take effect globally at the end of 2011.

Six of the committee’s 27 members: Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Turkey and the U.S., haven’t implemented any of the Basel 2.5 rules, the group said. Two other nations, China and Saudi Arabia, have made limited progress, the group said in a report published on its website.

A more extensive upgrade of the Basel rules, known as Basel III, was published in December 2010. The measures, which include forcing lenders to build up buffers of easy-to-sell assets, are supposed to be adopted by nations by January 2013, and to fully apply from 2019.

In-Depth Probes

So far only two nations, Japan and Saudi Arabia, have published their final implementing laws for Basel III, the group said.

The Basel committee also published plans today for more in-depth probes of how well nations apply its rules. A first set of investigations, covering the EU, U.S. and Japan, has already begun, the group said.

The committee said it is conducting a separate review into whether lenders are using different approaches to calculate the riskiness of their assets. The “initial findings” of this investigation should be ready by year-end, the group said.

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