Basel II gets go-ahead from EP

Banking and SME bodies have welcomed the Parliament’s first reading vote adopting the capital requirements directive (CRD).

The vote on the CRD, which implements the Basel II rules on risk capital to be held by banks, was taken on 28 September in the plenary session. The European Parliament’s approval was based on hundreds of amendments proposed by rapporteur Alexander Radwan. However, these have already been discussed and are likely to be accepted by the Council, paving the way for final agreement by the end of the year.

Parliament also voted in favour of the Eighth Company Law directive which will harmonise auditing rules (see EURACTIV 29 Sept 2005).

The Federation of European Banks said the CRD would give certainty and Europe’s small business federations said it would improve access to finance for SMEs. Internal Market Commissioner McCreevy also welcomed the votes on measures which were “good for our financial firms, good for our economy and good for financial stability.”

A breakthrough was also made on the comitology problem, which threatened to delay the directive (see EURACTIV 14 July 2005). A right for Parliament to have a say in the detailed implementing measures for the CRD and other complex financial legislation fell with the Constitution. However, agreement has now been reached between Parliament, the Commission, and the Council that the old procedure should be used until 1 April 2008. 

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