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European Banking Federation unhappy with EU response to Basel Committee review

The head of the European Banking Federation expresseddisappointment July 12 after EU finance ministers offered what he called a"lackluster" response to global regulators' moves to further tightenstandards for the industry.

Ministers the same day issued a statement saying anyreforms arising from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's review ofglobal rules "would not be expected to result in a significant increase inthe overall capital requirements for the banking sector," Reutersreported. An earlier draft of the text, reported by Reuters on July 6, hadincluded a statement that ministers would not accept an increase of more than5% in overall capital obligations.

The head of the EBF, Wim Mijs, said: "In abank-financed economy like Europe, any uncertainty over extra capitalrequirements directly affects growth prospects. For European banks, the BaselCommittee's plans for additional requirements go well beyond what has alreadybeen agreed."

The review, which is expected to be finished by the end of2016, is focused on the possible introduction of risk-calculation models basedon common standards rather than banks' internal benchmarks, Reuters noted. Thebanking federations of France and Germany said July 6 that they expect themeasures to raise some banks' capital obligations by up to 50%.