Financial regulators reached a long-sought deal on Thursday to harmonize global banking rules, capping a decade of effort to make banks more resilient even if they fell short of their own initial hopes.
Facing fierce opposition from the banking industry and calls from the U.S. administration to backtrack on some measures, policymakers struck a compromise agreement on rules forcing banks to hold more capital and cash to avoid a repeat of the 2008 financial crash.
Conceived in the aftermath of the global financial crisis when taxpayers had to rescue some of the world's biggest lenders, the rules, known as Basel III, aim to shield governments by having private investors suffer losses first.
"The focus of the reforms was to reduce regulatory uncertainty," European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, the chairman of Basel's oversight body, said.
"Now its time is for implementation and not further design," Draghi told a news conference.
The final step in the deal will be for legislators around the globe to ratify the agreement, another potentially time consuming exercise, especially after some U.S. lawmakers have argued for relaxing financial regulation.
Thursday's compromise focused on when banks would have to increase capital on their trading books and on the way large lenders self-assess the risks they take - two issues that divided countries on either side of the Atlantic.