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Basel III to boost G20 economies by $13 trillion

Ottawa, September 14, 2010

New global banking rules will provide a long-term boost to G20 economies equivalent to 30 percent of gross domestic product, or 10 trillion euros ($13 trillion), Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney said.

Carney threw his support behind tougher bank capital standards known as Basel III, announced by global regulators on Sunday and designed to prevent future financial crises.   

He said the benefits from fewer and less severe financial meltdowns far outweighed short-term costs to the world's major economies as banks grapple with the stricter rules.

"This past weekend's historic Basel III agreement strikes exactly the right balance," he said in the prepared text of a speech he was delivering in Berlin.

Long-run benefits to Canada, a country where banks already have higher capital levels than those in the United States and Europe, would be about 13 percent of gross domestic product, or C$200 billion ($196 billion), Carney said.

The new Basel III requirements will force banks to hold top-quality capital totaling 7 percent of their risk-bearing assets, more than triple what they do now.      

The capital levels are significantly lower than what banks globally feared earlier this year and lenders will have until January 2019 to comply with some of the rules.

Carney said on Tuesday other financial reforms now under consideration such as tighter mortgage lending rules and counter-cyclical buffers could increase the net benefit of reforms by about 20 percent in Canada, according to the Bank of Canada's calculations.   

"It is reasonable to expect similar results for other countries," he said.

Carney projected that as a result of the financial crisis, cumulative foregone economic output from 2009 to 2012 would be about 16 percent of GDP in Europe, possibly growing to 40 percent if left unchecked.

In Canada, the loss would be about 9 percent of GDP, possibly growing to 30 percent, he said. - Reuters




Tags: economy | Canada | growth | Basel | G20 |

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