A group of bank supervisors from across the European Union have today called for the bloc to implement global banking rules agreed to prevent a repeat of the global financial crisis.
The final tranche of the Basel III rules is now due to be implemented by Brussels after a delay due to the coronavirus pandemic ravaging the European economy.
In an open letter, nearly two dozens central bankers and regulators urged the Commission to stick to "the letter and the spirit" of the rules, which have been the object of intense lobbying from a banking industry keen to reduce its capital burden.
"We, as prudential supervisors and central banks in the EU, very much support a full, timely and consistent implementation of all aspects of this framework," the signatories said.
"The pandemic shows that more resilient banks are better able to support the real economy, even during times of crisis," they added.
The letter, addressed to Commissioners Mairead McGuinness and John Berrigan, was signed by the heads of institutions from all large EU countries with the exception of France.
The signatories defended the "output floor", which limits large banks' discretion in setting their own capital requirement, while criticising a more flexible "parallel stack approach" defended by the European Banking Federation, a trade body.
A full implementation of the output floor would increase capital requirements by 18.5% for EU banks, leaving them with a €52.2 billion capital shortfall, according to calculation by regulators at the European Banking Authority as of last December.
The signatories also upheld a standardised approach to credit risk and said EU-specific deviations should be minimised.
Commissioner McGuinness said last week such rules were the topic she had "received most lobbying on" and the Commission would "implement faithfully Basel, taking into account the flexibilities that are allowed in it".