The New Basel Capital Accord: The Remaining Challenges

CEPS Task Force Report:
Basel II Implementation in the midst of Turbulence
Author: Rym Ayadi

Following a period of protracted turbulence, regulators on both sides of the Atlantic face the challenge of re-evaluating prudential standards in the midst of implementing the new so-called ‘Basel II’ rules, issued by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. Indeed, the 2007 subprime lending crisis and other scandals have cast doubt on the credibility of banks’ internal governance and risk assessment and management systems and the role of credit rating agencies in externally assessing the risk of complex structured products. Equally, the capacity of regulators to monitor the risky, multifaceted activities of large cross-border institutions has been subjected to immense stress.
In addressing these issues, this CEPS Task Force report supports a regulatory paradigm shift, which resets the incentives to establish an integrated risk-assessment, -management and -governance culture at an institution-wide level. Towards this end, it stresses the need to strengthen the roles of pillars 2 and 3 (supervisory review and market discipline) and to avoid relying solely on the outcome of easily manipulated, excessively sophisticated internal models to determine capital requirements and a supervisory ‘box-ticking’ approach. The report also examines the potential consequences of the new rules on the basis of early quantitative impact studies and warns of undesirable impacts under adverse market conditions. Finally, it examines the progress achieved in implementing Basel II in Europe and in the US and raises questions about global regulatory consistency and convergence.

Date Published: 23 June 2008
Pages: 147

Frederick C. Musch, Former Secretary General, The Basel Committee
Rym Ayadi, Research Fellow, CEPS
1st meeting: 23 Mar 2005
2nd meeting: 14 Jun 2005
3rd meeting: 12 Jan 2006
4th meeting: 8 Dec 2006