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Basel timetable differences mean big problems, but Europe keeping to schedule

LONDON, November 30 (Global Risk Regulator) – The different European and US timetables for implementing the Basel II bank safety rules present significant practical problems for banks, but won’t affect European Basel-II deadlines, according to a top UK banking supervisor.

The Capital Requirements Directive (CRD), the law that will bring the complex Basel II capital adequacy rules into effect in the European Union, has been enacted and the timetable is clear, Paul Sharma, head of the prudential risks and accounting section at Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), told a London conference earlier this week.

"The (EU) deadlines will be met," Sharma said. He added he wanted to make this clear in order to counter speculation that the European schedule might be changed in the light of the delay in US Basel-II adoption plans announced two months ago.

Sharma stressed he had no criticism of the US timetable. "It’s up to each jurisdiction to decide for itself what’s best for itself" under the Basel II rules, which were designed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The committee, which in effect regulates international banking, comprises top banking supervisors from North America, Europe and Japan.