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Austria Discussing Top Banks’ Capital Rules With EU Commission

Published: February 25, 2012; 14:40 · (Vindobona)

Austria’s regulators are discussing rules for its top banks that will curb excessive lending in Central and Eastern Europe with the European Commission.

Austria Discussing Top Banks’ Capital Rules With EU Commission / Picture: © Wikipedia / Christian Wirth (Wirthi)

“We’ve entered into agreements with the regulators” of the eastern European countries and “now still are in talks with the European Commission,” Central Bank (OeNB) Governor Nowotny told reporters in Vienna today, adding that the regulators didn’t want to publish the rules without the commission’s consent. The discussions will be completed “shortly,” he said.

Austria’s financial markets regulator and the central bank in November presented a plan that restricts new loan business to 1.1 times the deposits and wholesale funding that Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI), Erste Group, and Bank Austria´s local units in Central and Eastern Europe are able to raise on their own. They also brought forward capital rules from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The regulators have yet to publish a comprehensive version of the rules, an action initially scheduled for the end of 2011. “We are in no rush,” Nowotny said today. “The banks de facto meet the rules already -- we’ve already achieved what we set out to do as the banks have developed an increased awareness of risk in their business models.”