2017: Basel III


1. This document sets out the Basel Committee’s finalisation of the Basel III framework. It complements the initial phase of Basel III reforms previously finalised by the Committee. The Basel III framework is a central element of the Basel Committee’s response to the global financial crisis. It addresses a number of shortcomings with the pre-crisis regulatory framework and provides a regulatory foundation for a resilient banking system that supports the real economy.


2. A key objective of the revisions in this document is to reduce excessive variability of risk-weighted assets (RWAs). At the peak of the global financial crises, a wide range of stakeholders – including academics, analysts and market participants – lost faith in banks’ reported risk-weighted capital ratios. The Committee’s own empirical analyses highlighted a worrying degree of variability in the calculation of RWAs by banks.


3. A prudent and credible calculation of RWAs is an integral element of the risk-weighted capital framework. Banks’ reported risk-weighted capital ratios should be sufficiently transparent and comparable to permit stakeholders to assess their risk profile. The Committee’s strategic review of the regulatory framework highlighted a number of fault lines with the existing architecture, particularly the extent to which it adequately balances simplicity, comparability and risk sensitivity.


4. The revisions to the regulatory framework set out in this document will help restore credibility in the calculation of RWAs by: (i) enhancing the robustness and risk sensitivity of the standardised approaches for credit risk and operational risk, which will facilitate the comparability of banks’ capital ratios; (ii) constraining the use of internally-modelled approaches; and (iii) complementing the riskweighted capital ratio with a finalised leverage ratio and a revised and robust capital floor.

An accompanying document summarises the main features of these revisions.1 5. In finalising these reforms, the Committee was guided by three overarching principles. First, the Committee is firmly committed to its mandate of strengthening the regulation, supervision and practices of banks worldwide, with the purpose of enhancing financial stability. A banking system that is resilient will be able to support the real economy and contribute positively to sustainable economic growth over the medium term.


6. Second, the Committee actively seeks the views of stakeholders when developing standards. For these reforms, the Committee conducted an extensive consultation process with a wide range of stakeholders. The Committee thanks all stakeholders for their constructive contributions during this process.


7. Third, the Committee conducted a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of the impact of these revisions on the banking system and the wider macro economy. As a result of this assessment, the Committee focused on not significantly increasing overall capital requirements.2 This is reflected in the design, calibration and transitional arrangements discussed below. The Committee will continue to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of these reforms in reducing excessive RWA variability.


8. While the revised framework will continue to permit the use of internally-modelled approaches for certain risk categories (subject to supervisory approval), a jurisdiction which does not implement some or all of the internal-modelled approaches but instead only implements the standardised approaches is compliant with the Basel framework. More generally, jurisdictions may elect to implement more conservative requirements and/or accelerated transitional arrangements, as the Basel framework constitutes minimum standards only.