Business groups make G-20 wish list

Business groups make G-20 wish list

Washington: Business groups are seeking to use this weekend’s international economic summit to put their stamp on any regulatory reform that could be adopted in the wake of the global financial crisis.

Many governments around the world are expected to tighten their oversight of banks and other financial firms.

The meltdown stemmed from housing slumps in the US and some European countries and has caused US and European banks to write off hundreds of billions of dollars in losses.

Financial regulation is one of the top agenda items for this weekend’s Group of Twenty (G-20) summit meeting, which will draw leaders from developed countries such as the US, the UK, France and Japan, as well as emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Business groups such as the Financial Services Roundtable and the US Chamber of Commerce are pushing their own guidelines.

“There’s wide agreement in both business and government...that our financial regulatory structure is incredibly outdated and in need of an overhaul," said David Chavern, chief operating officer for the chamber, which hopes the G-20 countries will adopt principles such as the need for common international standards in areas such as accounting.

The chamber supports extending oversight to some areas that aren’t now regulated, such as financial derivatives, he added.

The financial services industry, meanwhile, wants governments to set up “systemic risk" regulators that evaluate the risks that individual institutions pose to the broader financial system, according to Scott Talbott, a lobbyist for the Financial Services Roundtable, which represents large banks and insurance companies including Allstate Corp., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo and Co.

Talbott said his group’s members are looking for “more effective regulation".