European banks should not delay the implementation of Basel III purely on the basis that their counterparts in the US are doing so.
That is according to Adair Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), who has called on financiers to avoid using what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic as an excuse to postpone compliance with the new rules, Reuters reports.
Under the terms of Basel III - which is scheduled to come into effect from 1 January 2013 - lenders are obliged to hold a significantly higher level of capital in order to protect their balance sheets and avoid any repeat of the recent banking collapses.
However, companies in the US have decided to alter the timetable of introduction and European banks therefore believe going ahead with implementation from the beginning of next year would put them at a competitive disadvantage.
But Mr Turner has insisted the "disappointing" example set by American firms should not be followed.
By Tony Aynsley