The Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems held a colloquium today that examined risk-based capital standards. Participants explored how capital requirements are currently determined for various financial firms and how they should be determined in the future. The discussion was extremely timely as capital standards are currently under active review by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision which is responsible for setting capital standards for internationally active banks.

“This study, sponsored by Swiss Re, is unique in addressing capital standards for three different types of financial institutions–banking, insurance and securities firms–as well as conglomerates,” said Harvard Law School Professor Hal Scott, director of the Program on International Financial Systems. “It looks at international and national standards that affect these firms; it addresses controversial areas of capital regulation, such as operational risk, as well as enforcement; and it brings together a multidisciplinary team of economists and lawyers.”

Participants included Michel Crouhy, senior vice president of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce; Richard Herring, professor of international banking and director of the Lauder Institute at the Wharton School of Business; Til Schuermann, a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and Paul Kupiec, deputy division chief at the International Monetary Fund.

The colloquium is part of a two-year study on risk-based capital, supported by Swiss Reinsurance Company. The findings of the study will be presented at a conference in early 2003 held at Swiss Re’s Rüschlikon Centre for Global Dialogue located near the company’s headquarters in Zurich.

The Centre for Global Dialogue in Rüschlikon, which opened its doors in November 2000, is Swiss Re’s platform for risk dialogue with partners and experts worldwide. A key goal of the centre is to facilitate the building of networks, the sharing of knowledge and the generation of sustainable innovation.

The Harvard Law School Program on International Financial Systems was founded in 1986. It was established to conduct research linking law, economics and finance. In the past fifteen years it has published books, held symposia, and provided technical assistance to a variety of countries.

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