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All You Need to Know About BASEL III Norms

Basel III, also known as Basel 3, refers to a set of international banking regulations developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS). These regulations aim to strengthen the global banking system and enhance its stability by improving the banking sector’s ability to absorb shocks arising from financial and economic stress. Basel III builds upon the previous Basel Accords, namely Basel I and Basel II, which were introduced in 1988 and 2004, respectively. The new norms were developed in response to lessons learned from the 2008 global financial crisis, which highlighted weaknesses in the banking sector’s capital adequacy and risk management practices. Here in this article we have covered all the information on Basel III Norms.


According to the BASEL Committee on Banking Supervision, BASEL III is a comprehensive set of reform measures, which have been developed by the committee to strengthen the regulation, supervision as well as the risk management of the banking sector across the world. This will not only help the banking sector to deal with the economic and financial stress but also eventually improve risk management as well as strengthen the transparency of the banks. 


The measures of BASEL III have the following objectives:

  1. Improve the ability of the banking sector to absorb the changes which arise due to the financial and economic instability of the world market.
  2. Improve the banking sector’s governance as well as risk management capabilities. 
  3. To improve and strengthen the disclosures and transparency of the banks. 

Key Features of Basel III

Here are few key features of Basel III Norms:

  1. Capital Adequacy: Basel III mandates banks to maintain higher and better-quality capital to withstand financial shocks and market downturns. The minimum common equity capital requirement was raised from 2% under Basel II to 4.5% under Basel III. Additionally, a capital conservation buffer of 2.5% and a countercyclical buffer were introduced to further strengthen capital reserves.
  2. Liquidity Requirements: Basel III introduces two new liquidity ratios, the Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and the Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR). These ratios ensure that banks maintain sufficient liquidity to meet short-term and long-term obligations, reducing the risk of a liquidity crisis.
  3. Leverage Ratio: Basel III introduces a leverage ratio that limits a bank’s total exposure relative to its Tier 1 capital. This measure provides a safeguard against excessive leverage and complements the risk-based capital requirements.
  4. Systemically Important Banks: Basel III imposes additional capital and liquidity requirements on systemically important banks, also known as Global Systemically Important Banks (G-SIBs), to mitigate the potential risks they pose to the global financial system.
  5. Counterparty Credit Risk: Basel III revises the standards for measuring and managing counterparty credit risk arising from derivative transactions, ensuring banks have appropriate risk management practices.


As per guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Indian banks need to implement the BASEL III norms as well. In saying so, this implementation will not be challenging only for the banks, but also for the Government of India as well. Studies suggest that Indian banks will be required to raise an amount totalling to INR 6,00,000 Crores in external capital by the end of the 2020 financial year. 

Implementation and Impact of BASEL III

Basel III was gradually implemented by various countries between 2013 and 2019. The regulations led to significant changes in the banking sector, as banks had to strengthen their capital positions, improve risk management practices, and comply with the new liquidity requirements.

The implementation of Basel III norms aimed to create a more resilient banking system that could better withstand economic downturns and financial crises. By enhancing the capital and liquidity positions of banks, Basel III seeks to reduce the probability of bank failures and mitigate systemic risks in the financial system.

However, critics argue that the stricter regulations under Basel III may increase compliance costs for banks, potentially leading to reduced lending and economic growth. Additionally, there are concerns that some smaller banks may find it challenging to meet the enhanced capital and liquidity requirements.

Overall, Basel III represents a comprehensive effort by international regulators to strengthen the global banking system and prevent a repeat of the financial crises experienced in the past. It continues to be an important framework for ensuring financial stability and protecting the interests of depositors and investors worldwide.

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What is Basel 3 norms?

It is an international regulatory agreement on set of reforms designed to improve the regulation, supervision and risk management with banking sector.

What are the three pillars of Basel III?

Minimum Capital Requirement, Supervisory review Process and Market Discipline

Why do we need Basel III?

It is required to ensure that banks act carefully and improve their ability to deal with situations related to financial and economic stress by requiring them to maintain a much large capital base, by increasing transparency and improving liquidity.