CHINA yesterday decided to delay the implementation of new bank capital rules that are tougher than the Basel III requirements to the beginning of next year to ensure continued supply of credit in the world's second-biggest economy that is losing steam.

A statement published on the government's official website said the new rules, which align with international standards and are in tandem with China's existing capital regulatory system, will take effect on January 1.

Systemically important banks must have a capital adequacy ratio of 11.5 percent while non-systemically important lenders need to maintain the ratio at 10.5 percent, the statement said.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission did not include the definition of systemically important banks.

The CBRC said banks will have to scrutinize operational risks in addition to credit risk and market risk under the tougher rules. It lowered the risk weighting for credit to small and micro enterprises, personal loans as well as debts of public sector entities, while the weighting of interbank liabilities will be increased to an appropriate level, the statement said.

The new standards were originally scheduled to take effect at the start of this year. The plan was delayed after lenders warned that tightened requirements will cut credit supply and slow the nation's economy further.

The regulator seeks to set "reasonable" schedules for banks to meet the new targets in a way that helps to "maintain appropriate credit growth," according to the statement.

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