EU ministers close to deal on new bank rules
BRUSSELS (AP) -- Denmark's finance minister says she and her European Union counterparts are close to a deal to force banks to build up bigger capital cushions against financial shocks.
Early Thursday, after more than 15 hours of debate, Margrethe Vestager said only a few "technical issues" needed to be ironed out before the ministers' next meeting in two weeks.
The EU is in the process of writing an international agreement on capital defenses for banks into European law that regulators hope will prevent a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.
The so-called Basel III deal would force lenders to increase their highest-quality capital gradually from 2 percent of the risky assets they hold to 7 percent by 2019. An additional 2.5 percent would have to be built up during good times.