February 27, 2020 / 4:44 PM / a month ago

Basel tells banks to prepare for coronavirus 'shocks'

LONDON (Reuters) - Banks and their regulators should be ready to share information across borders in an effective way as the coronavirus epidemic evolves, the Basel Committee of banking regulators said on Thursday.

The committee of regulators from the world’s main financial centres said it met on Wednesday and Thursday and discussed the financial stability implications of the coronavirus outbreak for the banking system.

“The Committee encourages banks and supervisors to remain vigilant in light of the evolving situation and notes the importance of effective cross-border information sharing and cooperation when dealing with such shocks,” the committee said in a statement.

Last week Singapore’s biggest bank DBS Group Holdings asked 300 staff to leave its head office in the financial district and work from home as a precautionary measure after an employee tested positive for coronavirus.

The committee, chaired by Bank of Spain Governor Pablo Hernandez de Cos, also said it will further examine the risks to banks from leveraged loans and collateralised loan obligations.

A high-level task force on climate-related financial risks will develop a set of reports on the measurement and transmission channels of climate risk for banks and come up with practices to mitigate such risks, the committee said.

Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Carolyn Cohn, Kirsten Donovan

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