Basel committee to tackle "fundamental weaknesses" in bank supervision

19 November 2008

The chairman of the Basel committee on banking supervision has pledged to issue new proposals in 2009 to address the "fundamental weaknesses" in banking regulation and risk management exposed by the current financial crisis.

Speaking in Beijing, Nout Wellink said the international forum is working on a set of "practical responses" to financial stability issues linked to the current economic climate.

He added that the "primary objective" of the programme is to strengthen capital buffers and contain leverage in the system from on and off-balance sheet activities.

The committee will also put forward plans for stronger risk management and governance procedures, limits on risk concentration within individual institutions and greater market transparency.

"Ultimately, our goal is to help ensure that the banking sector serves its traditional role as a shock absorber to the financial system, rather than an amplifier of risk between the financial sector and the real economy," Mr Wellink commented.

The Basel committee was formed in 1974 to aid international cooperation on matters of banking oversight. Its members represent 13 nations, including Canada, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the United States.

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