Comprehensive response to the global banking crisis

7 September 2009

The Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, met on 6 September to review a comprehensive set of measures to strengthen the regulation, supervision and risk management of the banking sector. These measures will substantially reduce the probability and severity of economic and financial stress.

President Jean-Claude Trichet, who chairs the Group, noted that "the agreements reached today among 27 major countries of the world are essential as they set the new standards for banking regulation and supervision at the global level".

Mr Nout Wellink, Chairman of the Basel Committee and President of the Netherlands Bank, stated that "central banks and supervisors have responded to the crisis by strengthening microprudential regulation, in particular the Basel II framework. We are working toward the introduction of a macroprudential overlay which includes a countercyclical capital buffer, as well as practical steps to address the risks arising from systemic, interconnected banks".

The Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision reached agreement on the following key measures to strengthen the regulation of the banking sector:

The Committee will also assess the need for a capital surcharge to mitigate the risk of systemic banks.

The Basel Committee will issue concrete proposals on these measures by the end of this year. It will carry out an impact assessment at the beginning of next year, with calibration of the new requirements to be completed by end-2010. Appropriate implementation standards will be developed to ensure a phase-in of these new measures that does not impede the recovery of the real economy. Government injections will be grandfathered.

Mr Wellink emphasised that "these measures will result over time in higher capital and liquidity requirements and less leverage in the banking system, less procyclicality, greater banking sector resilience to stress and strong incentives to ensure that compensation practices are properly aligned with long-term performance and prudent risk-taking".

The Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision endorsed the following principles to guide supervisors in the transition to a higher level and quality of capital in the banking system:

Supervisors will ensure that the capital plans for the banks in their jurisdiction are consistent with these principles.