Barclays chief praises 'substance' of Basel rules

18 October 2010

John Varley, chief executive of Barclays, has come out in support of the controversial proposals put forward recently by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The plans, which require financial institutions to have a minimum tier one capital ratio of seven per cent, have come under fire from many in the banking industry, but Mr Varley stated that he believes the tough new rules are fair.

It is hoped that the legislation will make banks stronger in the long run but it has been warned by figures such as Deutsche Bank's Josef Ackermann that they will encourage financial institutions to shrink their balance sheets, thereby hampering economic growth.

But the Barclays executive told the Financial Times he is in favour of both the "substance and timetable" of the proposals, which are intended to be introduced gradually over a number of years.

"The recommendation that will be put in front of the G20 … by the Basel authorities is very clearly sensitized to the obligation that the banks have over the course of the coming years to facilitate economic growth," said Mr Varley.

By Tony Aynsley

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