Flaherty sees banks' disclosure progress

Mon Jun 9, 2008 5:40pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said on Monday he was pleased that the country's large banks were "quite compliant" with international disclosure recommendations in their recent quarterly reports.

"I have their assurances that they will continue along that path," Flaherty said in a speech in Montreal.

He had urged Canadian bank executives in late April to quickly adopt leading disclosure practices as recommended by the Financial Stability Forum, a group of international regulators, central bankers and finance ministers.

In the wake of the credit crisis, the FSF suggested in mid-April that banks should provide more information about the value of their off-balance-sheet exposure and risks.

Canadian banks released their second-quarter financial results in late May.

"Our lead financial institutions have been responsive to the FSF suggestions," Flaherty told an economic conference.

Earlier in the day, Flaherty met with the CEOs of the large Canadian banks in Toronto to discuss how they were meeting the FSF's recommendations.

They also discussed ways to lower the Canadian banks' funding costs, which have gone up since credit markets were disrupted last summer.

"It is an issue that we've talked about more than once," Flaherty said about banks' costs.   Continued...

<p>Finance Minister Jim Flaherty gestures during a speech at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in Montreal, June 9, 2008. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi</p>