Scotiabank CEO concerned about Basel implementaion


* Wants to take advantage of opportunitiesTORONTO, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia Chief Executive Rick Waugh says he welcomes tighter bank regulations, but harbors concerns about whether new Basel III rules will be applied evenly.”My major concern is a level playing field,” Waugh said in an investor presentation by the bank in Toronto on Monday. Scotiabank is Canada’s third-largest lender.The new global rules for tighter capital and liquidity restraints have drawn criticism from some CEOs - most famously JP Morgan Chase head Jamie Dimon, who called the rules “anti-American” - but have generally been well received by Canadian banks.”I’m all for supervision, regulation, high capital levels, better liquidity, better funding,” Waugh said.He said the new rules have not forced the bank to alter its business model in any “fundamental” way, but said the uncertainty around how the rules will be implemented globally is troubling.”Are the Americans going to go to Basel III? Are the trading rules that are being implemented, are they going to be executed in the same time frame in the United States and Europe?” he said.The new rules - agreed on by global regulators but to be applied by national bodies - will place restrictions on lending and trading that will likely reduce banks’ profitability.Scotiabank, like Canada’s other lenders, did not require a bailout during the financial crisis, and the bank has continued making acquisitions as struggling institutions in the United States and Europe sell subsidiaries to bolster their capital positions.Waugh suggested that could continue.”We’ve demonstrated we’ve been able to do a reasonable job of coming through this. I want to take advantage in a prudent disciplined way of the opportunities, so I want a level playing field,” he said.Scotiabank’s shares were down 40 Canadian cents, oe 0.8 percent, at C$51.84 on the Toronto Stock Exchange amid a broad-based selloff.

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