International Regulators Respond to WOCCU Call for COVID-19 Flexibility

Delay of Basel III implementation among the changes sought by World Council

March 30, 2020

International standard setting bodies concerned with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the global banking system are all responding with guidance to assist credit unions in providing critical financial services during the crisis. World Council of Credit Unions called for regulatory flexibility early on to help credit unions meet the financial needs of their members during the crisis.

The following international standard setting bodies have released revised guidelines and directives.

  1. Basel Committee on Banking Supervision:
    • The Basel Committee's oversight body, the Group of Central Bank Governors and Heads of Supervision (GHOS), provided relief to help financial institutions respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the global banking system by delaying deadlines for the implementation of the Basel III framework.
    • The Basel Committee issued a statement noting that member jurisdictions can pursue a range of regulatory and supervisory measures to alleviate the financial stability impact of COVID-19, making it clear the supervisory authorities have flexibility to pursue further measures if needed.  
  2. Financial Stability Board: The FSB issued a statement encouraging authorities and financial institutions to make use of the flexibility within existing international standards to provide continued access to funding for market participants, and for businesses and households facing temporary difficulties from COVID-19. The FSB is also seeking to ensure that capital and liquidity resources in the financial system are available where they are needed.
  3. IFRS Foundation: The IFRS Foundation published guidance to address IFRS 9 application questions during this pandemic. The document outlines applicable accounting standards related to expected credit losses (ECL) that may arise during the COVID-19 pandemic and provides for favorable treatment of “payment holidays” extended during the crisis.

“We are pleased to see the international standard setting bodies utilizing their tools to provide much needed flexibility and guidance so our credit unions can continue to serve the needs of their members. The guidance issued provides the basis for national-level regulators to likewise implement conforming accommodations,” said WOCCU’s Andrew T. Price, Vice President of Advocacy. 

WOCCU called for flexibility by all regulators to provide prudent adaptability during the crisis, noting that they provide much needed stability and essential services during market hardships.

World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development platform for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.

World Council has implemented 300+ technical assistance programs in 89 countries. Worldwide, 85,400 credit unions in 118 countries serve 274 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at

Contact: Greg Neumann
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: +1 608-395-2048
Contact: Andrew Price
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions
Phone: 202-843-0704
The Bank of International Settlements Tower in Basel, Switzerland houses The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
The Bank of International Settlements Tower in Basel, Switzerland houses The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.

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