There can be no more Basel delays, warns Bolkestein

The European Union will not meet its CAD 3 implementation targets if the new Basel II capital Accord is hit by further delays, Frits Bolkestein, internal market and taxation commissioner for the European Commission (EC), warned at a conference today.

"If we were to face yet further delays, the European Union would not be able to face implementation by the end of 2006," said Bolkestein, speaking at a PriceWaterhouseCoopers conference on the new Basel capital accord in Brussels.

Bolkestein added that the EC was disappointed at this year´s further delays to the Accord, and hoped the final rules would be drawn up by the middle of next year.

He admitted that the new Basel rules were "not a perfect fit" in the European context, and said modifications would be made where neccessary.

"All institutions, whatever shape or size, can benefit from Basel II," he said, adding that the "finish line is now in sight".

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