Banking Regulators Provide Guidance on Basel III Implementation Timeline, Congress Offers Additional Responses to Basel III Proposals

more+
less-

On November 9, the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, and the FDIC announced that proposed rules to implement the Basel III regulatory capital accords will not take effect on January 1, 2013. The agencies cite the large volume of comments received in response to the proposed rules as the reason for the delay. Recently, members of three states’ congressional delegations joined others in submitting letters to the federal banking regulators in response to the proposed Basel III regulations. The letters all raise concerns about the potential disproportionate impact of the proposed rules on smaller, community and regional institutions, and challenge the attempt by regulators to apply international accords to all U.S. institutions regardless of size. Members of the Texas delegation focused on provisions that would require all unrealized gains and losses on available-for-sale securities to flow through to common Tier-1 equity, which the lawmakers believe will require community banks to divert capital resources from customer services and bank growth. Indiana Members added concerns about the effect of proposed excessive risk weighting and restrictions on dividends and discretionary bonuses, while Members from South Carolina echoed general concerns about the impact of the proposals on community banks. These legislators join other federal and state policymakers who have submitted similar comments in recent weeks. Scrutiny of the proposals will continue next week with a Senate Banking Committee hearing planned for November 14, 2012 to review the pending rules with representatives from the Federal Reserve Board, the OCC, and the FDIC.