MPC member calls for bigger bank buffers

Banks should have capital buffers far in excess of current levels, and more than double the minimum required under Basel III, and they could do so without dramatically raising their costs, David Miles, an external member of the Bank's rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee said yesterday. Professor Miles believes that banks should hold 18 to 20 per cent of risk-weighted assets in the form of equity.

Under Basel III rules, set to come in between 2013 and 2019, banks will be required to have capital of 7 per cent of risk-weighted assets.