Basel arbitrage warning leaves dealers guessing

Banks told to avoid trades that offset regulatory adjustments, but details are thin

Basel Committee targeting "complex, artificial and opaque" trades

Banks and lawyers are calling for more detail after international regulators issued a terse warning on trades designed to avoid a variety of capital adjustments. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision's concerns about "complex, artificial and opaque" structures could also prohibit those that are "simple, real and clear", according to one critic.

One target of the June 5 statement is the use of structures that reclassify deferred tax assets (DTAs) – essentially tax benefits a bank will earn

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