European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
- European flag outside the Commission (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The new rules, known as Basel III, are the world's regulatory response to the 2007-09 financial crisis and would force banks to triple the amount of basic capital they hold in a bid to avoid future taxpayer bailouts.
The European Banking Federation sent a letter on November 21 to EU Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier, formally requesting a delay on the grounds that EU banks would be at a competitive disadvantage if they introduced the new rules before their U.S. counterparts.
"We are now very troubled over the possible repercussions that the most recent statement from the US Authorities may have for the international competitiveness of Europe's banks," the letter, made available to Reuters on Saturday, said.
It said EU banks were facing sweeping regulatory changes including new capital requirements and liquidity buffers, and the creation of a EU supervisory authority.
"All the while, our U.S. competitors will not have matching obligations imposed on them in parallel, or in a foreseeable future," it said, asking for the introduction of the new rules to be delayed to January1, 2014.
European banks have long complained that protracted negotiations on the new rules meant they would not have enough time to start implementing them from next year, as planned.
Now they have stepped up calls for a postponement, arguing the recent U.S. decision to delay application of Basel III risked creating a trend whereby Europe tightens the regulatory noose around its banks while other jurisdictions hold back.