Germany's Meister regrets US Basel II delay

FRANKFURT, Germany, October 5 (Global Risk Regulator) - A European Central Bank official responsible for bank oversight, Bundesbank board member Edgar Meister, said today he regretted a US delay in implementing the Basel II bank safety rules, Reuters news agency reported.

US regulators said on Friday that they would delay implementation of the complex, risk-focused Basel II capital adequacy rules by a year to 2009, and employ more restrictions on how fast banks could reduce their capital base.
"I'd have welcomed it if the implementation of Basel II in the US was at the same time as in Europe and other parts of the world, in line with agreements up to now," said Meister, who chairs the European Central Bank’s Banking Supervision Committee, in the text of a speech to a Frankfurt banking conference.

In a separate statement today German banking association VOeB said the US delay had not altered its members' intention of being ready for Basel II in 2007, the first date in a two-stage implementation timetable set by the European Union, Reuters reported.

Meister also urged Germany's many small savings banks to take advantage of Basel II's more advanced options, which are administratively trickier but offer more potential for reducing capital requirements for better quality liabilities.

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