Wellink says on track for surcharges on top banks

SINGAPORE Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:54pm BST

Deutsche Bundesbank President Alex A. Weber (L) and Bank of Holland President Nout Wellink attend the European Central Bank Governing Council meeting hosted by Bank of Portugal in Lisbon May 6, 2010. REUTERS/HO

Deutsche Bundesbank President Alex A. Weber (L) and Bank of Holland President Nout Wellink attend the European Central Bank Governing Council meeting hosted by Bank of Portugal in Lisbon May 6, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/HO

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Banking supervisors are on track to reach an agreement on additional capital rules for banks deemed "too big to fail," the chairman of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Nout Wellink said on Thursday.

Asked by reporters if there was going to be a global agreement on such surcharges, he said discussions were still underway as to how this should be "calibrated" but that they were making progress.

"We are still on track," Wellink said on the sidelines of a meeting of banking regulators in Singapore.

France's economy minister Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday that imposing a capital surchage on big banks would not solve systemic risk problems.

Reaching an agreement on how to deal with systemically important banks is the one major regulatory issue still to be dealt with ahead of the Group of 20 world leaders' meeting in Seoul this November.

The Basel Committee is working alongside the Financial Stability Board to come up with a set of proposals which are expected to include capital surcharges along with rules for contingent capital and bail-in debt.

Wellink added that the meeting of banking supervisors in Singapore, which included many regulators who are not on the Basel committee, had fully endorsed the new rules on bank capital agreed earlier this month.

"They agreed that the framework will be both tough and demanding but it also represents a fundamental strengthening of the capital framework," he said.

(Reporting by Rachel Armstrong and Harry Suhartono; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)

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