WASHINGTON — U.S. regulators are making significant progress in implementing Basel III, according to a scorecard released Monday by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
The latest review, which is meant to compare how well countries are doing in complying with the terms of the international accord, covers the completeness and consistency of domestic regulations and why gaps may exist between countries.
U.S. regulators were found to be either "complaint" or "largely compliant" in 12 of the 13 key components of the review. The one area that the review found a gap was the U.S.'s proposed regulatory treatment of securitizations.
The review pointed to an alternative approach taken by U.S. regulators that does not rely on external credit ratings. Under the Dodd-Frank Act, regulators are required to remove all references to external credit ratings and replace them with alternatives.
The U.S. has argued that the deviation in approach will result in risk weights that are significantly higher than those calculated under Basel III.
In response to the report, U.S. regulators noted it was at times "somewhat negative in tone," but on most issues found the review to be "substantively both fair and accurate."
"The Federal Reserve welcomes the Basel Committee report, which found that work to implement the Basel agreements in the United States significantly complied with the international pacts to strengthen and increase the level of capital in the world's financial institutions," a Fed spokeswoman said.
It was a sharp contrast to Europe's report card, which European officials took issue with after the review criticized their progress to date.
The Basel Committee found the European Union to be "compliant" or "largely complaint" in 12 out of 14 areas.
The committee found the EU to be "materially non-compliant" in its internal ratings-based approach. The review also said the EU fell short in its definition of capital.
But in its written response, officials for the European Commission chastised the committee for not using additional information and clarification in its report. It specifically said complaints about the internal ratings-based approach were unfair since the Basel III plan is unclear.
"This does not seem justified given the unclear Basel rule on this point and the unquantified impact of this legislative choice on capital requirements," they wrote.
EU regulators also complained that the Basel Committee gave favorable treatment to the U.S. when it was cited for lack of compliance on securitization rules.
"This finding is also not comparable to the situation in the securitization section of one other report, where a 'materially non-complaint' grading has been attributed because a methodology for assigning requirements is used that is not based on credit quality assessments and therefore completely different from Basel III," EU regulators said.