26 July 2010
The Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, the oversight body of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, met on 26 July 2010 to review the Basel Committee's capital and liquidity reform package. Governors and Heads of Supervision are deeply committed to increase the quality, quantity, and international consistency of capital, to strengthen liquidity standards, to discourage excessive leverage and risk taking, and reduce procyclicality. Governors and Heads of Supervision reached broad agreement on the overall design of the capital and liquidity reform package. In particular, this includes the definition of capital, the treatment of counterparty credit risk, the leverage ratio, and the global liquidity standard. The Committee will finalise the regulatory buffers before the end of this year. The Governors and Heads of Supervision agreed to finalise the calibration and phase-in arrangements at their meeting in September.
Mr Jean-Claude Trichet, President of the European Central Bank and Chairman of the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision, said that "the agreements reached today are a landmark achievement to strengthen banking sector resilience in a manner that reflects the key lessons of the crisis." He emphasised that "the Group of Governors and Heads of Supervision have ensured that the reforms are rigorous and promote the long term stability of the banking system. We will put in place transition arrangements that ensure the banking sector is able to support the economic recovery."
Mr Nout Wellink, Chairman of the Basel Committee and President of the Netherlands Bank added that "a strong banking sector is a necessary condition for sustainable economic growth." He added that the announcements today should provide additional transparency about the design of the Basel Committee reforms, thus reducing market uncertainty and further supporting the economic recovery. Mr Wellink underscored that "many banks have already made substantial strides in strengthening their capital and liquidity base. The phase-in arrangements will enable the banking sector to meet the new standards through reasonable earnings retention and capital raising."
In reaching their broad agreement, the Governors and Heads of Supervision considered the comments received during the public consultation on the Basel Committee's proposed reforms, which were published in December 2009. They also took account of the results of the Quantitative Impact Study, the assessments of the economic impact over the transition and the long run economic benefits and costs. The Basel Committee will issue publicly its economic impact assessment in August. It will issue the details of the capital and liquidity reforms later this year, together with a summary of the results of the Quantitative Impact Study.
The key broad agreements of the Governors and Heads of Supervision are summarised in the Annex below.