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UPDATE 1-Swedish govt sees delay to tougher bank capital rules

Wednesday, 10 Oct 2012 | 10:53 AM ET

(Adds detail, background)

STOCKHOLM, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Sweden is to delay new rules forcing banks to put aside more capital than other banks in Europe to protect themselves against risk to the middle of next year, Financial Markets Minister Peter Norman said on Wednesday.

The new rules, intended to boost the resilience of a banking sector that includes Nordea , Handelsbanken , Swedbank and SEB , need to be aligned with a new European Union directive.

But final negotiations on the directive, which cover the capital and liquidity requirements decided by the Basel Committee in late 2010, have not yet been concluded, causing a delay also in the introduction of the Swedish rules.

"Everything indicates that the negotiations are dragging on and January 1 is not a probable date," Norman told reporters, referring to the original target for the introduction of the rules.

"We are beginning internal legislative work at the Finance Ministry that I hope will come into force in the middle of 2013."

All the top banks already meet the planned new rule of a core capital requirement of 10 percent of risk-weighted assets but the centre-right government had wanted to get the rules in place to show its determination to decrease bank risks.

It further wants to raise the capital requirement to 12 percent in 2015. Such requirements go beyond those spelt out by the Basel Committee.

(Reporting by Johan Sennero; writing by Niklas Pollard)

((Niklas.Pollard@thomsonreuters.com)(+46 70721 1110)(Reuters Messaging: niklas.pollard.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: SWEDEN CAPITAL/