What Is the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision?

What Is the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision?

The Basel Committee consists of Central Banks from 28 different jurisdictions. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is comprised of 45 members. The Basel Accords are important policy recommendations that are part of the BCBS.


The International Committee for Banking Oversight (ICBO) is a prominent multinational organization dedicated to formulating and advancing regulatory frameworks for the banking industry. Consisting of representatives from 28 jurisdictions, including central banks and other regulatory authorities, the ICBO encompasses a membership of 45 distinguished individuals. Its establishment and continued efforts reflect a collective commitment to strengthening banking supervision on a global scale.

What Is the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision?

In 1974, amidst efforts to rebuild the shattered Bretton Woods system, central bankers from the G10 countries established the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). Situated within the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) offices in Basel, Switzerland, this committee emerged as a response to the challenges posed by the increasingly interconnected and globalized banking and financial markets.

Comprising a diverse range of member countries, including Australia, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, the BCBS acts as a collaborative platform for national regulatory bodies.

While the BCBS lacks a formal founding treaty and does not function as a multilateral organization, its primary objective is to foster international cooperation among banking regulatory and supervisory authorities. By promoting a unified and globalized approach to regulatory challenges, the committee strives to elevate the standards of banking supervision worldwide and deepen the collective understanding of critical issues in this sphere.

Evolution of the Basel Accords: Enhancing Financial Stability 

Throughout its history, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has devised a series of influential policy recommendations called the Basel Accords. These recommendations, although non-binding, serve as a framework for national policymakers to enforce and have significantly influenced banks' capital requirements worldwide.

The initial Basel Accord, Basel I, was finalized in 1988 and gradually implemented across G10 countries by 1992. Introducing risk-weighted assets as a measure of credit risk, it also proposed minimum capital requirements to ensure banks' solvency during financial challenges. Subsequently, Basel II emerged in 2004 and was in the midst of implementation when the 2008 financial crisis unfolded.

In response to the crisis, Basel III aimed to rectify risk miscalculations by compelling banks to maintain higher levels of liquid assets and rely more on equity financing instead of debt. Although initially agreed upon in 2011 with a planned implementation by 2015, negotiations persisted beyond December 2017 due to contentious issues. Notably, the disagreement regarding the "output floor" continued, with France and Germany favoring a lower tolerance for discrepancies between banks' and regulators' risk assessments, while the U.S. advocated for a higher floor.

These successive Basel Accords illustrate BCBS's ongoing commitment to advancing financial stability and mitigating risks in the global banking sector.


The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision is crucial in strengthening global banking supervision. Its influential policy recommendations, the Basel Accords, have significantly impacted banks' capital requirements worldwide. The Accords, including Basel I, Basel II, and Basel III, address emerging risks and promote financial stability through measures such as risk-weighted assets, minimum capital requirements, and higher liquidity. While negotiations over Basel III implementation faced challenges, the BCBS remains committed to advancing stability and deepening understanding in banking supervision. Through continual adaptation and refinement, the BCBS strives for a resilient and secure global banking system.

Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS)
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