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Financial Stability Board agree tighter watch over big financial firms ahead of the G20 Summit in Seoul

A global regulatory body said on Wednesday it had agreed a broad plan to tighten supervision of big banks and financial firms blamed for triggering the 2008-2009 financial crisis. After a day-long meeting in Seoul, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) said it had "agreed on a framework for addressing systemically important financial institutions", those deemed too big to fail. The board, created last year by the Group of 20 top world economies, represents 52 institutions from 24 countries. It said in a statement it endorsed proposals to increase the intensity and effectiveness of financial supervision. Also approved were recommendations on implementing the central clearing and trade reporting of over-the-counter derivatives, a move intended to reduce risk in the huge derivatives market. Board members additionally backed principles for reducing reliance on credit rating agencies, which came in for widespread criticism for being too close to the firms they assessed and for failing to warn of problems.

GyeonguG20 finance ministers meet in the South Korean city of Gyeongu Friday and Saturday to discuss tighter supervision of the global financial sector. The group's leaders will hold a summit in Seoul on November 11-12. On Tuesday the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision met in the South Korean capital to finalise reforms requiring big banks to strengthen their financial reserves against any future crisis. The FSB statement said these new standards "will reduce the likelihood and severity of future financial crises". FSB chairman Mario Draghi described the Basel agreement as "the conerstone of global efforts to strengthen the resilience of the financial system". He told a press conference it was "crucial" to take action on banks deemed too big to fail. All such systemically important financial institutions should build a greater capacity to absorb losses "to reflect the greater risks that these institutions pose to the global financial system," he said. Draghi also noted that FSB members endorsed principles to reduce excessive reliance by governments and financial institutions on rating agencies. He said banks, market players and institutional investors should make their own assessment of risks. "The goal of the principles is to reduce the mechanical reliance on ratings" which "can amplify pro-cyclicality and cause systemic disruption," Draghi said.

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