Barnier Calls on U.S. to Pass Bank Rules Leveling Field With EU

Michel Barnier, the European Union’s financial services chief, has called for a regulatory “level playing field” for EU- and U.S.-based banks.

The EU and the U.S. are “in the finishing straight” of rule-making to apply Basel bank capital rules to lenders, according to an e-mailed statement from Barnier’s office. The comments were released today after Barnier met with U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo in Washington D.C.

Barnier and Tarullo agreed it was important to work together to “ensure an effective, proportionate and coherent” application of the measures, according to the statement.

The EU and U.S. have struggled to implement legislation to apply the Basel rules, which were published in 2010 as part of efforts to prevent any repeat of the financial crisis that followed the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.

Both jurisdictions missed an international Jan. 1 deadline to begin phasing in the rules.

“Mr. Tarullo confirmed that the U.S. will publish a final text in the spring” to apply the Basel rules, according to the statement. “They both judged it essential that this new regulatory framework be put into effective application as soon as possible.”