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World Panel Backs Rules to Avert Banking Crises

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Jack Ewing
The New York Times
Sept 13, 2010

Top central bankers and bank regulators agreed Sunday on far-reaching new rules for the global banking industry that are designed to avert future financial disasters, but could also dampen bank profits and strain weaker institutions.

Officials confirmed that the panel of financial authorities from 27 countries had reached agreement Sunday afternoon and would release details later Sunday. The group includes Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank.

If ratified by the G-20 nations later this year, the rules, known as Basel III, will require banks to bolster the amount of low-risk assets they hold in reserve as a cushion against market shocks. While the American Bankers Association and other groups have complained about the provisions, other bankers said the rules will help avert crises of the kind that nearly plunged the world into depression in late 2008.

“Banks will unarguably be safer institutions,” said Anders Kvist, head of treasury at SEB, a bank based in Stockholm that has operations around Europe.

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This article was posted: Monday, September 13, 2010 at 5:03 am

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