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IT problems delay efforts to compare risk at global banks

A sign for Bank Street and high rise offices are pictured in the financial district Canary Wharf in London in this October 21, 2010 file pho
A sign for Bank Street and high rise offices are pictured in the financial district Canary Wharf in London in this October 21, 2010 file pho

LONDON (Reuters) - Regulators will take longer than expected to assess risk at a third of the world's biggest banks because of IT delays, banking supervisors said on Wednesday.

The Basel Committee of supervisors from nearly 30 countries are trying to combine data on comparative risks in the worldwide operations of roughly 30 top banks by 2016.

The aim is to create a snapshot of where potential problems are building up and reduce the kind of uncertainty over bank liabilities that fuelled investor panic during the financial crisis.

Basel said many banks are facing difficulties in setting up systems to aggregate data.

"Instead, they resort to extensive manual workarounds. Notably, of the 30 banks that were identified..., 10 reported that they will not be able to fully comply with the principles by the 2016 deadline," Basel said in a statement.

The next step is for national regulators to broaden their analysis to their mid-tier banks. The committee urged its members to focus that effort on banks that are systemically important only within their countries rather than globally.

"The Basel Committee believes that the principles can be applied to a wider range of banks in a way that is proportionate to their size, nature and complexity," the committee said.

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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