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Friday, November 2, 2012

ABA's Abernathy: Involve Congress in Basel III Reconsideration

Few legislators have much appetite for setting bank capital policy, but it would be “a gross error” to mistake that discretion for lack of interest in what the Basel III proposals would do to local economies, Wayne Abernathy, ABA EVP for financial institutions policy, said in a Bank Think column in yesterday’s American Banker newspaper.

Abernathy noted that lawmakers have expressed their concerns about the proposals in several formats. They include individual inquiries, letters from several entire state congressional delegations, and one letter signed by 53 senators. House and Senate leaders also have expressed their concerns, and they are contemplating public hearings.
The congressional queries carry a common theme. Adequate levels of high quality bank capital are good, but do you need all of these other complex provisions to achieve that?

Invited or not, Congress is in on the game now. As the regulators consider the comments, as they weigh the real-life impact of the Basel proposals on hometown America, it would be well to involve Congress in the reconsideration.
Read Abernathy’s full column.

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