Bloomberg News

Austria Discussing Top Banks’ Capital Rules With EU Commission

February 27, 2012

Feb. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Austria’s regulators are discussing rules for its top banks that will curb excessive lending in eastern Europe with the European Commission, according th Central Bank Governor Ewald Nowotny.

“We’ve entered into agreements with the regulators” of the eastern European countries and “now still are in talks with the European Commission,” Nowotny told reporters in Vienna today, adding that the regulators didn’t want to publish the rules without the commission’s consent. The discussions will be completed “shortly,” he said.

Austria’s financial markets regulator and the central bank in November presented a plan that restricts new loan business to 1.1 times the deposits and wholesale funding that Raiffeisen Bank International AG, Erste Group Bank AG, and UniCredit Bank Austria AG’s local units in eastern Europe are able to raise on their own. They also brought forward capital rules from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

The regulators have yet to publish a comprehensive version of the rules, an action initially scheduled for the end of 2011.

“We are in no rush,” Nowotny said today. “The banks de facto meet the rules already -- we’ve already achieved what we set out to do as the banks have developed an increased awareness of risk in their business models.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Zoe Schneeweiss in Vienna at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Boris Groendahl at

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