Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney urged the G20 on Thursday to push ahead quickly with radical financial reforms but signaled flexibility on when new global banking rules would be phased in.
The world's policymakers and regulators are working on a package of new global rules for bank capital and leverage aimed at minimizing fallout from future financial crises.
In a speech that focused on the G20 agenda but made no mention of domestic monetary policy, Carney said the European debt crisis added urgency to the reforms, which he called radical, not incremental. A rapid G20 accord would reduce market uncertainty, he said.
The time for debate and discussion is drawing to a close. Policymakers now need to decide and to implement, Carney said, according to the prepared text of the speech he was giving at the Montreal conference of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
The G20 group of systemically important emerging and advanced industrialized nations reaffirmed on Saturday a November deadline to agree on those changes, but much work remains to be done to hammer out the final details.
If we can move faster, we will, Carney said.
The agreed deadline for implementing these so-called Basel III rules is the end of 2012, though some European nations would like to see this delayed because they fear it could place additional stress on their already troubled banks.
Carney said the aim was implementation by the end of 2012, but suggested there would be flexibility.
The transition timetable and grandfathering can be expected to be enlightened, he said.
We should not sacrifice our ambition for these measures to speed of implementation, nor the economic recovery to an arbitrary timeline.
Canada will host a meeting of G20 leaders on June 26-27 in Toronto. (Reporting by Louise Egan; Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)