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ECB says 'optimistic' for global deal on bank rules

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Published : 2017-03-27 19:48
Updated : 2017-03-27 19:48

FRANKFURT (AFP) - Regulators at the European Central Bank said Monday they are "optimistic" that talks on harmonising rules for banks around the world will soon end in a deal.

The so-called "Basel III" round of banking talks has stalled in recent months as negotiators battle over questions like how big banks' capital reserves should be and how they should judge risk.

Observers feared that Donald Trump's incoming adminstration -- seen as favouring looser regulation of banks and distrustful of multilateral cooperation -- would hold up the talks.

But "I'm optimistic and positive" that a deal will soon be reached, top ECB regulator Sabine Lautenschlaeger said at a Frankfurt press conference.

"I have not yet got any news from the US American colleagues, but I do see that all of us are very aware" of the need for standardised rules, she insisted.

As proof, Lautenschlaeger pointed to a statement signed by G20 finance ministers at a meeting in Germany last week, committing the world's most powerful countries -- including the US -- to "finalise the Basel III framework".

"All of the compromises are on the table, and we just need to have a final meeting," she said.

Capital requirements have been at the heart of a European-US split over the draft banking rules.

The US has favoured forcing banks to have more capital on hand, while European governments, regulators and finance groups fear stringent capital requirements will hobble their banks and economies.