Basel Accord

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The Basel Accord is an agreement made among various country representatives in 1988 in Switzerland to develop standardized risk-based capital requirements for banks across countries. The group that formed the accord was composed of representatives from central banks and regulatory authorities from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States and Luxembourg. Banks were subject to an 8 percent capital requirement.[1]

In the early 1990s, the Basel Committee decided to update the 1988 accord (Basel II) to include bank capital requirements for market risk. This change had implications for non-bank securities firms.

In 1991, the Basel Committee entered discussions with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) to jointly develop a framework to harmonize market risk capital requirements for banks and securities firms on a global basis. The finalized Basel II Accord was released in June 2004.[2]


  1. Basel Committee: International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards (updated to April 1998). Bank for International Settlements (BIS).
  2. Basel II: International Convergence of Capital Measurement and Capital Standards: a Revised Framework. Bank for International Settlements (BIS).