New op risk paper gets cautious welcome, but reservations remain

BASEL - Bankers gave a cautious welcome to the further thinking of global banking regulators on their controversial plans to make internationally active banks set aside capital against op risk under the Basel II banking accord.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the body that in effect regulates international banking and the architect of the Basel II accord, issued a working paper in late September. As expected, the document conceded ground on some issues, clarified others and broadened the discussion in a couple of key areas.

But some bankers suggested the final word on one major issue - the benchmark on which an op risk charge will be based - has yet to be heard. The Basel regulators reduced the figure to

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