CHICAGO - The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision intends to include a charge for operational risk in a future version of the capital agreement governing large international banks.

However, Christine M. Cumming, an executive vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the former chairwoman of the Basel Committee's risk management group, told a conference audience here that international regulators have yet to devise a method for calculating such a capital charge.

"What I hear my colleagues talking about more and more is that maybe there will be a transition period," she said, "with the goal of phasing in a good and meaningful operational risk charge over time rather than trying to come up with a magic bullet today."

Operational risk is generally defined as the risk of loss banks and other financial institutions face from catastrophic events, human error, and other unpredictable events. Since 1998, when it released a study on the topic, the Basel Committee has been monitoring how banks measure and account for operational risk.

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