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The EU Will Target The End of March to Complete Basel Rules

“The European Union must press ahead with global bank capital standards to avoid fresh delays and to give certainty to lenders that must abide by the overhaul, the bloc’s financial services chief said today.

“We need agreed rules as soon as possible so that banks know which way they are going,”Michel Barnier said in an interview on the sidelines of a conference in Paris.

Lawmakers and EU negotiators will meet tomorrow to try to break logjams over banker bonuses, financial reporting requirements and the amount of power retained by national regulators. An EU planning document warned the EU should finish its laws on the new rules by March 22.

If the measures aren’t finalized next month, the EU may run out of time to hit its January 2014 target date to implement the so-called Basel III accord, according to the Feb. 22 document drawn up by Ireland’s EU presidency and obtained byBloomberg News. Missing the March deadline may force the EU either to shorten its transition period, putting undue strain on lenders to adjust by the start of next year, or delay starting the new bank rules until July 2014 or January 2015.

Barnier said he’s working “on the hypothesis there won’t be a delay” so the EU can stick to its schedule. He reiterated the Brussels-based commission’s goal of regulating when countries can set their own safeguards for lenders.

“The commission is very attached to having a working single regime,” Barnier said. He said EU lawmakers are focused on issues relating to banker pay….”

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