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U.S. regulators say listening to small banks' Basel concerns

Nov 15 2012 Emily Stephenson, Reuters

U.S. bank regulators sought to reassure lawmakers on Wednesday that they will incorporate community banks' concerns as regulators finish up new rules requiring financial firms to hold more capital. Officials from the Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency told a U.S. Senate Banking Committee hearing that they are considering industry comments on rules proposed to implement an international capital agreement. They said they could tweak the rules to make it easier for small banks to comply. The Basel III capital agreement is considered one of the most critical reform efforts to make sure the global banking system is more resilient in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 financial crisis. But some critics say U.S. regulators' plans to implement the rules would unfairly hurt community banks. "The Federal Reserve believes capital requirements that improve the quantity and quality of regulatory capital would benefit the resiliency

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