Basel Group Faces ‘Now or Never’ Chance on Bank-Liquidity Rule

By Jim Brunsden

Global financial regulators begin three days of talks today that may pave the way for a deal on liquidity rules that lenders and the European Central Bank warn could stifle the economic recovery. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision will attempt to overcome divisions within its ranks as it races to meet a self- imposed January deadline for reviewing the liquidity coverage ratio, or LCR, three people familiar with the discussions have said. ECB President Mario Draghi has warned the measure risks choking off bank lending, while some other regulators, including in the U.S., say that diluting the LCR risks rendering the standard meaningless, according to the people.  “It’s now or never for the LCR,” Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Washington-based Federal Financial Analytics Inc., said in an e-mail. “If Basel can’t cobble together an agreement on it that is more than papered-over differences, the U.S. and U.K. will implement their own rules, the EU will stand down and the global liquidity framework may well dissolve.”