Bankers, regulators talk, no concrete result

Sat Jan 30, 2010 8:27am EST
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By Dominic Evans and Lisa Jucca

DAVOS (Reuters) - Bankers and policymakers reached some common ground on Saturday after months of recrimination over the financial crisis, but some expressed frustration that bank reforms were moving too slowly.

A closed-door informal meeting between dozens of top financiers and government officials, held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, saw few concrete proposals on the table, though the negotiations and informal brainstorming marked an incremental step forward, participants said.

"Each time people from the private sector and public sector from different countries get to an increased level of understanding I think that is actually quite valuable," U.S. economic advisor Larry Summers said at the Swiss resort of Davos, speaking after the two-hour discussion.

Other participants, however, expressed frustration at the pace of change. Britain said banks, policymakers and regulators should move quickly on areas of accord, including the need to increase capital adequacy and so-called living wills, which would allow a quick wind-down of a failed bank.

"What has changed is there is an acceptance on the part of banks that they need to make changes and they need to make changes quickly," Darling said in an interview.

"They have moved from a position of almost resenting public interference to one accepting the need to put their house in order."

He warned there was a risk of losing the momentum for reform created by the global credit crisis and missing "a massive opportunity to return to growth."

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn agreed: "It has taken 12 years to build Basel (rules) but we don't have 12 years to build financial reform today. We need to speed up."   Continued...

<p>CEO of NYSE Euronext Duncan Niederauer speaks during a session on Redesigning Capital Markets during the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann</p>