Germany urges US to roll out Basel III bank rules

Germany urged the United States on Monday to implement the Basel III rules for strengthening banks, even if it is not prepared to do so by January 1.

A spokeswoman for the German finance ministry, Marianne Kothe, told a regular government briefing that Berlin accepted that it was "unlikely" that tougher capital standards would be up and running by the start of 2013.

"But the US authorities assume that that is likely to happen during the course of 2013," she said.

"Our position has not changed -- the government strongly supports a quick implementation of Basel III, first in Europe but then of course in the United States."

The US Treasury announced on Friday that it would not implement the Basel III rules, saying the banks were not yet ready to meet the tougher financing standards.

The delay comes as US banks have argued that the new capital rules will put them at a disadvantage to global competitors, especially from Europe.

The regulators "are working as expeditiously as possible to complete the rulemaking process," the Treasury said.

But it did not give a new date for when it expected the US domestic rules in support of Basel III can be completed and implemented.

US banks have fought to delay the application of the new Basel standards, which raise the requirement for higher-quality capital to be held by the banks.

The Basel Committee set a January 1 deadline for all countries and jurisdictions to have their own regulations in place to meet the new standards.

By last month, only eight of 27 following the Basel process had published final rules, including China, Japan, India and Switzerland.

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