Last update 23 January 2013
The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision provides a forum for regular cooperation on banking supervisory matters. Its objective is to enhance understanding of key supervisory issues and improve the quality of banking supervision worldwide. It seeks to do so by exchanging information on national supervisory issues, approaches and techniques, with a view to promoting common understanding. At times, the Committee uses this common understanding to develop guidelines and supervisory standards in areas where they are considered desirable. In this regard, the Committee is best known for its international standards on capital adequacy; the Core Principles for Effective Banking Supervision; and the Concordat on cross-border banking supervision.
The Committee's members come from Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. The present Chairman of the Committee is Mr Stefan Ingves, Governor of Sveriges Riksbank.
The Committee encourages contacts and cooperation among its members and other banking supervisory authorities. It circulates to supervisors throughout the world both published and unpublished papers providing guidance on banking supervisory matters. Contacts have been further strengthened by an International Conference of Banking Supervisors (ICBS) which takes place every two years.
The Committee's Secretariat is located at the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, and is staffed mainly by professional supervisors on temporary secondment from member institutions. In addition to undertaking the secretarial work for the Committee and its many expert sub-committees, it stands ready to give advice to supervisory authorities in all countries. Mr Wayne Byres is the Secretary General of the Basel Committee.
Basel Committee Charter (PDF, 13 pages, 63 kb)
Main Expert Sub-Committees
The Committee's work is organised under four main sub-committees:
More information on each sub-committee is provided below.
The Standards Implementation Group (SIG) was originally established to share information and promote consistency in implementation of the Basel II Framework. In January 2009, its mandate was broadened to concentrate on implementation of Basel Committee guidance and standards more generally. It is chaired by Mr Charles Taylor, Deputy Comptroller for Regulatory Policy at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), United States. Currently the SIG has four subgroups or task forces that work on specific implementation issues.
The Operational Risk Subgroup addresses issues related primarily to banks' implementation of advanced measurement approaches for operational risk.
The Task Force on Colleges brings forward the Basel Committee's work on supervisory colleges by developing guidance that enhances the effectiveness in the use and functioning of supervisory colleges and assisting supervisors in implementing such guidance in practice.
The Standards Monitoring Procedures Task Force supports the implementation of Basel Committee standards and guidelines by developing tools and procedures that help promote greater effectiveness and consistency in standards monitoring and implementation.
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The primary objective of the Policy Development Group (PDG) is to support the Committee by identifying and reviewing emerging supervisory issues and, where appropriate, proposing and developing policies that promote a sound banking system and high supervisory standards. The group is chaired by Mr Wayne Byres, Secretary General of the Basel Committee.
A number of working groups report to the PDG including the Risk Measurement Group, the Research Task Force, the Working Group on Liquidity, the Capital Monitoring Group, the Trading Book Group and the Cross-border Bank Resolution Group.
The Risk Measurement Group serves as the Committee's point of contact with the industry on the latest advances in risk measurement and management. It focuses on assessing the range of industry risk management practices and the development of supervisory guidance to promote enhanced risk management practices.
The Research Task Force serves as a forum for research economists from member institutions to exchange information and engage in research projects on supervisory and financial stability issues. It also acts as a mechanism for facilitating communication between economists at member institutions and in the academic sector.
The Trading Book Group is conducting a fundamental review of the trading book capital framework. Part of the review is whether or not the distinction between the banking and the trading book should be maintained, how trading activities are defined and how risks in trading books (and possibly market risk more generally) should be captured by regulatory capital. Furthermore, it addresses implementation issues relating to the Revisions to the Basel II market risk framework.
The Working Group on Liquidity serves as a forum for information exchange on national approaches to liquidity risk regulation and supervision. In September 2008, the Working Group issued Principles for Sound Liquidity Risk Management and Supervision, the global standards for liquidity risk management and supervision. The Working Group is also examining the scope for additional steps to promote more robust and internationally consistent liquidity approaches for cross-border banks.
Since the implementation of Basel II, national supervisors are monitoring capital requirements to ensure that banks in their jurisdiction maintain a solid capital base throughout the economic cycle. The Basel Committee has established the Capital Monitoring Group that shares national experiences in monitoring capital requirements.
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The Accounting Task Force (ATF) works to help ensure that international accounting and auditing standards and practices promote sound risk management at banks, support market discipline through transparency, and reinforce the safety and soundness of the banking system. To fulfil this mission, the task force develops prudential reporting guidance and takes an active role in the development of international accounting and auditing standards. Mr René van Wyk, Registrar of banks at the South African Reserve Bank, chairs the ATF.
The Audit Subgroup, a working group of the Accounting Task Force, promotes reliable financial information by exploring key audit issues from a banking supervision perspective. It focuses on responding to international audit standards-setting proposals, other issuances of the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board and the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants, and audit quality issues.
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The Basel Consultative Group (BCG) provides a forum for deepening the Committee's engagement with supervisors around the world on banking supervisory issues. It facilitates broad supervisory dialogue with non-member countries on new Committee initiatives early in the process by gathering senior representatives from various countries, international institutions and regional groups of banking supervisors that are not members of the Committee. The BCG is co-chaired by Mr Karl Cordewener, Deputy Secretary General of the Basel Committee, and Bryan Stirewalt, Dubai Financial Services Authority.
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Coordination with other standard setters
Formal channels for coordinating with supervisors of non-bank financial institutions include the Joint Forum, for which the Basel Committee Secretariat provides the secretariat function, and the Coordination Group. The Joint Forum was established in 1996 to address issues common to the banking, securities and insurance sectors, including the regulation of financial conglomerates. The Coordination Group is a senior group of supervisory standard setters comprising the Chairmen and Secretaries General of the Committee, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS), as well as the Joint Forum Chairman and Secretariat. The Coordination Group meets twice annually to exchange views on the priorities and key issues of interest to supervisory standard setters. The position of chairman and the secretariat function for the Coordination Group rotate among the member representatives of the three standard setters every two years. The Committee also maintains regular contacts with the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI).
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