Core principles for effective banking supervision

This version

BCBS  | 
20 December 2011
Status:  Closed

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has issued for consultation its revised Core principles for effective banking supervision. The consultative paper updates the Committee's 2006 Core principles for effective banking supervision and the associated Core principles methodology (assessment methodology).

Both the existing Core Principles and the associated assessment methodology have served their purpose well in terms of helping countries to assess their supervisory systems and identify areas for improvement. While conscious efforts were made to maintain continuity and comparability as far as possible, the Committee has merged the Core Principles and the assessment methodology into a single comprehensive document. The revised set of twenty-nine Core Principles have also been reorganised to foster their implementation through a more logical structure, highlighting the difference between what supervisors do themselves and what they expect banks to do: Principles 1 to 13 address supervisory powers, responsibilities and functions, focusing on effective risk-based supervision, and the need for early intervention and timely supervisory actions. Principles 14 to 29 cover supervisory expectations of banks, emphasising the importance of good corporate governance and risk management, as well as compliance with supervisory standards.

Important enhancements have been introduced into the individual Core Principles, particularly in those areas that are necessary to strengthen supervisory practices and risk management. Various additional criteria have been upgraded to essential criteria as a result, while new assessment criteria were warranted in other instances. Close attention was given to addressing many of the significant risk management weaknesses and other vulnerabilities highlighted in the last crisis. In addition, the review has taken account of several key trends and developments that emerged during the last few years of market turmoil: the need for greater intensity and resources to deal effectively with systemically important banks; the importance of applying a system-wide, macro perspective to the microprudential supervision of banks to assist in identifying, analysing and taking pre-emptive action to address systemic risk; and the increasing focus on effective crisis management, recovery and resolution measures in reducing both the probability and impact of a bank failure. The Committee has sought to give appropriate emphasis to these emerging issues by embedding them into the Core Principles, as appropriate, and including specific references under each relevant Principle.

In addition, sound corporate governance underpins effective risk management and public confidence in individual banks and the banking system. Given fundamental deficiencies in banks' corporate governance that were exposed in the last crisis, a new Core Principle on corporate governance has been added in this review by bringing together existing corporate governance criteria in the assessment methodology and giving greater emphasis to sound corporate governance practices. Similarly, the Committee reiterated the key role of robust market discipline in fostering a safe and sound banking system by expanding an existing Core Principle into two new ones dedicated respectively to greater public disclosure and transparency, and enhanced financial reporting and external audit.

As a result of this review, the number of Core Principles has increased from 25 to 29. There are a total of 36 new assessment criteria, comprising 31 new essential criteria and 5 new additional criteria. In addition, 33 additional criteria from the existing assessment methodology have been upgraded to essential criteria that represent minimum baseline requirements for all countries.

The Basel Committee welcomes comments on the revised Core Principles. Comments should be submitted by Tuesday 20 March 2012 by email to: Alternatively, comments may be sent by post to the Secretariat of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, Bank for International Settlements, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland. All comments may be published on the Bank for International Settlements's website unless a commenter specifically requests confidential treatment.

  • Comparison between the 2006 and 2011 versions of the "Core principles assessment methodology"
  • Final document (September 2012)