Canada bank group warns about over-regulation

* CBA president urges limited regulatory change

* Says Canada does not share problems with other regimes

* New rules should be implemented gradually, in order

TORONTO, April 15 (BestGrowthStock) – The head of the Canadian
Bankers Association, the nation’s top lobby group for banks,
said on Thursday it supported consistent global capital
standards but said there was a risk of over-regulation as
global policymakers try to prevent another crisis.

CBA President Nancy Hughes Anthony said that while global
regulators were understandably eager to improve financial rules
to prevent another calamity, the industry could come to regret
the changes if too many regulations were imposed too quickly.

“We must not allow ourselves to get caught up in a wave of
‘regulation-mania’ — to change what we do, which works — just
because the other guy is changing what he does because that
hasn’t worked. And above all, we are seeking a level playing
field internationally where Canada’s banks can thrive,” Hughes
Anthony said in prepared remarks for a speech in Vancouver.

Canadian banks took no government bailouts and remained
mostly profitable right through the global financial crisis, a
success Hughes Anthony attributed to both strong regulation and
good management among the big national banks.

She said that while the CBA welcomed a move toward improved
and consistent global capital standards, regulators need to be
aware that changes to regulation could have unintended
consequences if those changes are not made gradually and in the
right sequence.

“For the most part, these regulatory proposals are coming
from jurisdictions with financial systems and banking
industries that are fundamentally different from ours. Their
experience before and during the financial crisis was
fundamentally different than Canada’s. The actions they may
need to take are fundamentally different than what we may need
here,” she said in the speech.

The remarks echo those made in recent weeks by some of the
country’s top banking executives as well as the head of the
nation’s banking regulator, the Office of the Superintendent of
Financial Institutions (OSFI).

International decision-makers are mulling reforms including
higher minimum capital levels and lower leverage limits for
banks. World leaders agreed to a sweeping set of reforms in
Pittsburgh last September, but final changes are not expected
to be approved until the second half of 2010 or later.

The subject will be in focus when leaders of the G20
industrial and emerging market economies meet in Canada in
June.
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(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; editing by Rob Wilson)

Canada bank group warns about over-regulation