This morning, the three federal bank regulatory agencies
announced that their proposed new capital rules based on Basel III (and other
Basel standards) would not take effect on January 1, 2013, a date previously
proposed apparently in order to adhere to international consensus. The
announcement was overdue. The comment period for the three proposed capital
rules ended only a few weeks ago on October 22, 2012. The agencies received
hundreds of comments that they will have to digest in order to finalize the
rules, making implementation on January 1, 2013, a practical impossibility.
January 1, 2013, was set by international agreement as the
effective date for new Basel-based rules in all countries. The United States
will not be the only jurisdiction to miss this deadline. The Basel Committee on
Banking Supervision (the "BCBS") released preliminary reviews of the
implementation of Basel III in the European Union, the United States, and
Japan. Only Japan has new rules in place. The European Parliament is expected
to take up its version of the new rules, colloquially known as CRD IV, on
November 20, 2012, in plenary session. If Parliament approves CRD IV, it will
go to the European Council for review. Finalization, accordingly, will take
The announcement leaves two questions that the agencies did
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