Weber Says Banks Need Simpler Business Model as Regulations Loom

UBS AG Chairman Axel Weber said banks need to reassess their business models in response to tougher regulation of the financial industry.

Banks need to be “simpler and less capital-intensive,” Weber said today at the Policy Exchange, a London-based research group. UBS, the biggest Swiss bank, has overhauled its businesses to be more “risk-averse,” he said.

The European Union is set to phase in its version of the Basel III regulations starting in January, and they will fully apply as of 2019. The rules, from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, require banks to hold capital equal to at least 7 percent of their risk-weighted assets, while also meeting indebtedness limits and liquidity requirements.

Weber, 56, who was president of Germany’s Bundesbank before joining Zurich-based UBS in 2012, also said it’s better to have a single supervisor for banks in Europe.

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