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Basel III will not prevent another crisis warns King

Basel III on its own will not prevent another financial crisis for a number of reasons, warned Mervyn King, governor at the Bank of England (BoE).

By Donia O'Loughlin | Published Oct 26, 2010 | comments

But he admitted it was a step in the right direction during a speech made in New York on Monday.

Mr King said new levels of capital were insufficient to prevent another crisis and policymakers should look at demanding higher levels than the seven per cent Basel III requirement for tier one capital reserves.

Mr King dismissed fears that nine years was too fast a timetable to implement the rules.

He said the Basel approach of asking banks to maintain a buffer of capital above the minimum requirement could be done in this timeframe, by 2019.

Mr King said: "Rebuilding the buffer is a task for the future.

"So even though the Bank of England would have preferred an agreement to set capital ratios at higher levels in the long run, we have no intention of asking UK banks to adopt a faster timetable for implementation of Basel III."

He raised concerns about the implementation of the bank levy announced in the recent comprehensive spending review.

He said: "Although there is a sound case for a levy directed at the size of short-term borrowing, it would be foolish to regard that as the main tool to align costs and benefits of risky balance sheet activity."

Other reforms Mr King suggested were needed include splitting banks into deposit-taking and investment institutions and requiring the use of debt instruments that left creditors more exposed when things went wrong.

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