Financial regulator grants Canadian banks one-year extension on meeting international capital standard

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      The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has made things a little easier for Canadian banks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      On March 27, the federal banking regulator delayed implementation of an international capital standard, a revised market risk framework, and new disclosure requirements by one year until January 1 2023.

      This came on the same day that the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision endorsed the postponement to "free up operational capacity for banks and supervisors".

      The new requirements flowed from the Basel III standards, which were developed in response to the global economic meltdown in 2008.

      Basel III calls on banks to have improved high-quality liquid assets to offset net cash outflows.

      According to OSFI, delaying the planned regulatory changes is "designed to help reduce some of the operational stress on institutions".

      "They also ensure that OSFI’s guidance is appropriate for these extraordinary circumstances while remaining risk-focused and forward-looking," OSFI added.

      This came two weeks after OSFI reduced the "domestic stability buffer" from 2.25 percent to one percent.

      That increased the banks' lending power by $300 billion.

      After the Bank of Canada's policy rate fell to 0.25 percent, Canada's five largest chartered banks all announced that they were reducing their prime rates from 2.95 percent to 2.45 percent.

      Video: Learn more about the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions.