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Banks May Get More Time on Basel III Requirements

The implementation of the Basel III capital rules may be postponed beyond the start of 2013, according to a joint statement released by the ""Office of the Comptroller of the Currency"":http://www.occ.treas.gov/, the ""FDIC"":http://www.fdic.gov/, and the ""Federal Reserve"":http://www.federalreserve.gov/.

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The announcement follows a comment period during which many trade organizations and institutions expressed apprehension about the new requirements.

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""Many industry participants have expressed concern that they may be subject to a final regulatory capital rule on January 1, 2013, without sufficient time to understand the rule or to make necessary systems changes,"" the release reads. ""In light of the volume of comments received and the wide range of views expressed during the comment period, the agencies do not expect that any of the proposed rules would become effective on January 1, 2013.""

David Stevens, president and CEO of the ""Mortgage Bankers Association"":http://www.mbaa.org/default.htm, said the extension should give more time to regulators to retool the requirements and protect mortgage lending.

""This is a positive development, and hopefully signals that the regulators are rethinking their problematic Basel III rule and are going back to the drawing board for a new proposed rule,"" Stevens said in a public response. ""The rules, as proposed this summer, would have had serious negative repercussions across the lending landscape, with the impact felt most acutely by residential, commercial and multifamily real estate borrowers, investors and lenders in the form of tighter credit and higher costs.""

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