U.S. Implementation of the Basel Capital Regulatory Framework [November 14, 2012] [open pdf - 371KB]
"The Basel III international regulatory framework, which was produced in 2010 by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision at the Bank for International Settlements, is the latest in a series of evolving agreements among central banks and bank supervisory authorities to standardize bank capital requirements, among other measures. Capital serves as a cushion against sudden financial shocks (such as an unusually high occurrence of loan defaults), which can otherwise lead to insolvency. The Basel III regulatory reform package revises the definition of regulatory capital and increases capital holding requirements for banking organizations. The quantitative requirements and phase-in schedules for Basel III were approved by the 27-member jurisdictions and 44 central banks and supervisory authorities on September 12, 2010, and endorsed by the G20 leaders on November 12, 2010. Basel III recommends that banks satisfy these enhanced requirements by 2019. The Basel agreements are not treaties; individual countries can make modifications to suit their specific needs and priorities when implementing national bank capital requirements."
CRS Report for Congress, R42744